Islamabad, April 16 (KMS): The US federal agency ‘Small Business Administration’ has said that five US-based organisations linked to Hindu supremacist and religious groups have received COVID-19 relief funding amounting to $833,000.

A report released by Kashmir Media Service, today, said that American activists and US-based civil rights organisations had urged the US Small Business Administration to probe how Hindu right-wing groups received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds.

In this regard, a statement issued by the ‘Coalition to Stop Genocide in India’ said the Hindu groups that received the funds have existential links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the fountainhead of Hindu supremacist ideology and ideological parent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It said the five groups – Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, Infinity Foundation, Sewa International and Hindu American Foundation (HAF) – are US-based front organisations for Hindutva, the supremacist ideology that is the driving force behind much of the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Dalits and other minorities in India.

The coalition’s statement said the RSS has been directly involved in orchestrating anti-Christian and anti-Muslim pogroms and instigating terror attacks, as part of a relentless campaign to turn India into a Hindu authoritarian state where minorities are relegated to the status of second class citizens. “Its members and affiliated organisations have been implicated in countless acts of massacres, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, forced-conversions and other forms of violence against religious minorities in India,” said the statement.

Rasheed Ahmed, executive director of Indian American Muslims Council (IAMC), said, “US taxpayers’ money being used to keep hate groups in business is absolutely unacceptable and should concern all who believe in fairness, justice and government accountability”. He added, “There are families across America still reeling from the human and economic toll of COVID-19, while groups that seem to be essentially serving as front organizations for a violent and supremacist ideology are raking in the windfall from federal COVID funding.”

The KMS report said, there is every reason to believe that funds collected by Sangh Parivar in the US must have been used to further weaponize the Hindu violent organizations to utilize them against the Indian minorities and for suppressing the Kashmir movement. The report deplored that the US-based extremist Hindu groups were getting American taxpayers’ money in the name of fighting COVID-19 but the amount was funneled towards sponsoring hate, persecution and the slow genocide of minorities and marginalized communities in India as well as Muslims in IIOJK.

The report maintained that the US government-backed watchdogs as well as other human rights organisations need to take serious note of the misappropriation of COVID funding by Hindu supremacist groups in the US.

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