After charity comes the harassment, controversy
KOCHI: Varsha, a native of Kannur, had made an emotional appeal on social media a month ago seeking financial help for the treatment of her mother who needed an emergency liver surgery. To her surprise, she received a whopping Rs 1.25 crore in her bank account within a few days. But Varsha has now filed a complaint saying that soon after her mother’s surgery, she started receiving threatening calls from various corners, including charity workers who helped her, demanding a share of the amount she received.
Meanwhile, the huge flow of money within a short span and the subsequent controversy has raised suspicion over the involvement of a racket trying to legalise black money via the charity route, say sources.
Case against charity workers on girl’s complaint
Based on Varsha’s complaint, the Cherannelloor police on Friday registered a case against charity workers Firoz Kunnamparambil and Sajan Kechery and two others. “A preliminary inquiry was conducted based on the girl’s complaint and a case was registered against the four persons for threatening her,” said G Poonguzhali, Kochi DCP.She said the police will also look into allegations of money laundering.
Meanwhile, Youth Congress state secretary PY Shajahan, who filed a complaint with the police, has demanded an inquiry into the alleged hawala links and the high-level political involvement in the incident. “It is mysterious that the money continued to pour in even after the girl requested to stop donation after the amount crossed Rs 60lakh,” he said. “A detailed investigation should be conducted into it,” he said.
Following the controversy, Firoz demanded that the bank accounts of Varsha and her mother be frozen. “If the hawala gang, charity workers and Varsha conspired to collect the money, the role of these persons should be investigated,” he said in a Facebook post.He had earlier said Varsha had promised to give a share of the donation she received for treatment of other poor patients.T K Raj Mohan, former SP of National Investigation Agency, said charity is one of the best ways for legalising black money. “This incident cannot be seen as a hawala transaction. It may be an attempt to legalise black money,” said
IG and Kochi City Police Commissioner Vijay Sakhare has ruled out the allegation of hawala links in the incident. “The allegations of transferring huge amounts from certain accounts will be probed. Hawala is a non-banking transaction. Here, the whole amount came via bank. However, the police will check the source of funds,” he said, adding that the previous money transactions of the alleged persons will also be probed.