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Dr Jawahirullah's clarification

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Following is the clarification issued by Dr Jawahirullah, member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, regarding the news published about his conviction in a Chennai court

A section of the press has reported that four of my colleagues and myself have been convicted in a cheating case. Neither me nor my colleagues have cheated anybody or caused any loss to the exchequer. Since the news has caused tremendous mental agony to me and my colleagues as well as our party cadres and our supporters I am presenting here the facts of the case.

Coimbatore a commercially vibrant city in Tamilnadu witnessed unprecedented carnage against Muslims in November-December 1997. 19 Muslims were killed and properties worth several million rupees were looted by saffron hooligans who were aided and abetted by the local police. Tamilnadu has never witnessed such a large scale riot and arson. It was in this dire situation Mr. Nissar Ahamed, Mr. G.M. Sheikh and Mr. Nalla Mohamed Kalanjiam formed a trust under the name Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund. (CMRF). The objective of CMRF was to provide relief to the people affected in the large scale riots. All the three of them are reputed businessmen in the city of Chennai. They created this fund purely to help the people affected in the riots. A Bank account was opened in the name of the Trust. All donations received from the public were deposited in the bank and all the beneficiaries were paid through cheques. Donations were received from all over Tamilnadu as well as from Indian passport holders working abroad. The CMRF did not receive any fund from any Foreign Government, Foreign Agency or Foreign Citizens. However the NDA Government led by Vajpayee slapped two cases against Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund. One was through the Income Tax Department and another one was by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Vajpayee government slapped these cases with political vendetta and dragged myself President of Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and Mr. S. Hyder Ali, General Secretary of TMMK along with Mr. Nissar Ahamed, Mr. G.M. Sheikh and Mr. Nalla Mohamed Kalanjiam. It is to be noted that Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund was a separate entity of its own and it was formed and operated by three good Samaritans mentioned above. Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam was not a part of the Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund. Yet since in the 1998 and 1999  Parliament elections TMMK took a political stand against BJP and its local ally DMK, TMMK office bearers were also dragged into this case.

The Income Tax Department conducted a thorough enquiry about the functioning of Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund. A team of Income Tax officers camped at Coimbatore and interrogated each and every beneficiary who had received solatium from Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund. The IT officials verified whether the beneficiaries were really affected by the riots, whether the cheque they received from Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund was deposited in their bank account, whether they received solatium from the State Government on the recommendation of the Gokulakrishnan Commission etc. At the end   the income Tax Appellate Tribunal Bench B Chennai I.T.A. No.4 (Mds) /2003 gave the judgement declaring that the funds mobilised by Coimbatore Muslim Relief Fund were genuinely utilised for the welfare of the affected people.

The CBI filed a case against me, Mr.Hyder Ali, Mr. Nissar Ahamed, Mr. G.M. Sheikh and Mr. Nalla Mohamed Kalanjiam. It was in this case the Additional Metropolitian Magistrate pronounced his judgement on September 30th 2011. Mr. Hyder Ali and myself were convicted for allowing Coimbatore Muslim Relef Fund to function from the premises of Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam. Mr. Nissar Ahamed, Mr. G.M. Sheikh and Mr. Nalla Mohamed Kalanjiam were convicted for receiving Foreign Contribution without getting prior permission from Central Government. However the Magistrate suspended the sentence permitting us to appeal in the Sessions court.

I have to point out the Judge did not convict us for cheating the public or causing loss to the exchequer. it is purely on the basis of a technical lapse on the part of the functionaries of CMRF the conviction was pronounced. When thousands of people were affected in the Coimbatore riots, the organizers while creating the trust failed to get prior permission to receive foreign contribution. Moreover the funds received by the Fund do not amount to Foreign contribution as it has not received any amount from foreign governments, agencies, institutions or individuals. We are hopeful that in the sessions court we will win the appeal.

M.H. Jawahirullah
President,
Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam
7 Vada Maraicoir Street
Chennai 600 001
Email: jawahir[@]tmmk.in
9 October 2011

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