Patkar is said to have rejected the accusation as politically motivated, claiming she has a full account and audit of the expenses and she was open to respond to all allegations.
NEW DELHI — Madhya Pradesh police have filed a case against the founder of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) campaign Medha Patkar and 11 others on allegations of misuse of funds that they had collected for the education of tribal students.
The case filed in state’s Barwani came following a complaint by a villager. A PTI report cited police claiming that the accused diverted the funds for “political and anti-national agenda”.
“As the case is related to old transactions, a detailed investigation will be carried out,” Barwani superintendent of police Deepak Kumar Shukla was quoted in the PTI report, adding that the complainant Pritamraj Badole, a resident of Temla Bujurg village. had provided some documents with the complaint.
According to the complaint the Narmada Navnirman Abhiyan (NNA), a trust registered in Mumbai, allegedly misused funds collected for running residential educational facilities for tribal students of the Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, as per the FIR.
He alleged that NNA had received ₹13.50 crore from various sources in the past 14 years which were misused for a “political and anti-national agenda”,
Apart from Patkar, the FIR names Parveen Rumi Jahangir, Vijaya Chouhan, Kailash Awasya, Mohan Patidar, Ashish Mandloi, Kewal Singh Vasave, Sanjay Joshi, Shyam Patil, Sunit S. R., Noorji Padvi and Keshav Vasave.
“The case is related to two States – Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The documents and facts will be verified and all the parties concerned will be allowed to present their sides and facts. Further legal steps will be taken as per the facts that emerge during the investigation,” the SP said, according to PTI.
Patkar is said to have rejected the accusation as politically motivated, claiming she has a full account and audit of the expenses and she was open to respond to all allegations. She said she has faced such accusations in the past too, adding the organisation does not receive foreign funding and everything is thoroughly audited annually.
She further said that the complainant may be associated with the RSS or ABVP
“The funds were used appropriately and the ‘jiwanshalas’ being run at present have been there for the past three decades. The organisation has been involved in rehabilitation for decades. It has always given replies to such allegations with documents,” Patkar said.
Patkar said the case may be an attempt to defame her and her organisation.
“Those who do the right thing by asking questions about the system are called anti-nationals. The public will decide,” she said.