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NGOs funding naxals March 18, 2007

Posted by naxalwatch in NGO.
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Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:12:10 am

The Vajra Bodhi Society runs a school which is used as a front for funding NGO activities

Ever wondered where the banned militant outfits like the MCC get funds to buy arms and ammunition? In a shocking expose, TIMES NOW has found that in the heartland of Bihar’s Bodhgaya, naxals are being funded by none other than NGOs running on the pretext of doing charity.

Over the last fortnight, they have made headlines for some of the most deadly attacks – 55 securitymen killed in Chattisgarh, a sitting MP Sunil Mahato shot dead at point blank range in Jharkhand. The men behind these attacks are the naxals who the police across states are trying to hunt down.

But here is a shocking twist. In the heart of Bihar in Bodhgaya, documents with government officials show that NGOs ostensibly doing charity work in a pilgrimage centre are actually fronts siphoning off money to fund the naxal movement.

“Some months ago, a few naxal women leaders were caught in Bodhgaya. During the interrogation, we could gather that they are attached with the naxals. They get money in the name of imparting education in rural areas. But they are a part of the naxals. I am not aware about other NGOs, but we will try to find out,” said Umesh Kumar Singh, DIG, Magadh Range.

Its not just monetary support, the government alleges that some NGOs like the Vajra Bodhi Society even provide shelter to the naxals.

On the surface, the society runs a school for two hundred children in Mocharim, 5 kilometres from Bodhgaya. But when TIMES NOW visited the school, there was not a single student. But the man in charge had a justification for this and it was clear that he was a naxal supporter.

A deadly naxal attack in Chhattisgarh had left 55 policemen dead

“Naxals’ children come here. Naxals are human beings; there is some good ideology in the naxals,” said Rahul Bhante, President, Vajra Bodhi Society.

Its shocking but true; in these remote areas, it is difficult for government authorities to actually audit accounts of the NGOs and these organisations get a lot of money in funding.

“These naxals are getting support from NGOs, they are being patronised by the naxals. Otherwise how are these NGOs running in these distant areas which are naxal infested? That means the naxal are getting money from them,” says CR Azad, Block Social Welfare Officer, Bodhgaya.

At the last count, there were around 600 NGOs in and around Bodhgaya. The authorities suspect that many of them could be involved in naxal funding but little is being done on the ground.

“They can escape from the audit report receipt payment activities. It is very easy for the auditor to channelise to anti-national activities. The government is shaken but not taking any steps,” said Arup Brahmachari, a Buddhist monk.

Its a shocking case that raises many questions, for instance, are NGOs in other Naxal-affected areas also being supported like this and what is the government which promises so much every time the naxals strike doing to stop these people?With

By Jagori Dhar