Saturday 23 March 2019 1:03 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
GILLINGHAM (Kent) March 22: The fund raising appeal made by Kerala Hindu Welfare UK on behalf of Late Rajeev Thankappan, has been termed as a scam by Kent Hindu Samajam. Rajeev Thankappan, who was here in the UK on visit visa, was found dead on March 2, 2019. As Rajeev’s family has been struggling financially Malayalees in the UK had begun raising funds to support the family back in Kerala.
Alongwith several other organisations, the Kerala Hindu Welfare UK too began raising funds. However, now the Kent Hindu Samajam, based in Gillingham in Kent, has come out with a press note stating that the fund raising campaign carried out by Kerala Hindu Welfare UK is a scam and that they will lodge a complaint with the authorities in the UK.
Please see below the Press Note sent to this website by Kent Hindu Samjam.
As you may have noticed that Kent Hindu Samajam has received a request from a WhatsApp group called Kerala Hindu Welfare UK & Hindu Malayalees UK and also received a personal telephone call from one of the individual in that group to support the late Rajeev Appeal.
Before we could officially confirm the authenticity of Rajeev appeal request, as a responsible organisation and to safeguard its members, Kent Hindu Samajam have carried out an independent impartial initial investigation of the situation that led to Rajeev appeal which has been received in our Kent Hindu Samajam communication platform for our members.
Kent Hindu Samajam have noted that the various reputed local Malayaee organisations and other Malayalee Hindu organisations officially operating in East Ham area have
never requested for the Rajeev appeal fund collection to support the bereaving family from the general public yet although it is their catchment area and it is possible these responsible organisations are more aware of the surroundings of the deceased person.
We have also noted that the local Malayalee Hindu Samajam operating in East Ham and the nearest other well established Malayalee Hindu Samajams operating are also have not made any public appeal yet for the late Rajeev.
Furthermore we have observed from a press note that Sameeksha, one of the Malayalee group operating in UK have made all the necessary arrangements for the repatriation of Rajeev’s body to Kerala and they have liaised with NORKA and Indian High Commission and we understand, the repatriation expenses will be met by the Indian High Commission London from their Welfare Fund as the deceased person is an Indian citizen.
If the individuals behind this particular Rajeev appeal are concerned the welfare of late Rajeev family and wish to support the repatriation process of late Rajeev’s body to Kerala from UK, first thing they should have been directly liaising with the NORKA authorities and Indian High Commission London rather than start collecting funds from public.
We have proved in similar case when we had the situation to deal the late Sivaprasad’s case. In our experience, for the repatriation process, you need to be a volunteer, work hard and dedicate yourselves, spend lots of your personal time to communicate with various authorities in India & UK to expedite the process and releasing welfare funds from the Indian authorities but these concerned individuals behind the Rajeev appeal cannot work for the real situation to sort it out but found an easy way demanding the public to contribute for their illegal Rajeev appeal they have created through the WhatsApp group communication.
Also you may have noticed that one of the Malayalee mainstream Charity Foundation operating in UK have already made an appeal for late Rajeev and have collected nearly 8700 pounds for the late Rajeev’s family.
We have also noted that currently various schemes are available in India, in State level in Kerala and National level to support this family in their current circumstances the individuals behind the appeal should have been directed the bereaved family members to approach the authorities in India and apply for the support.
As you know if this family meet the criteria for the support needed, the Kerala Government and Government of India will definitely help them through the proper channels. Think about millions of people are livings in India with similar situations of late Rajeev’s family.
If the repatriation expenses were not met by the Indian Government Authorities / Mission in UK we could justify the appeal to generate the money from public to meet the repatriation expenses as an unfortunate incident and no other alternatives to support the repatriation of Rajeev’s body from UK to Kerala, India as you all know this is not the case that should warrant Kerala Hindu Welfare UK to appeal to the public.
It is illegal to support people who do not have any legal right to stay in the United Kingdom and we have observed from the press notes that their condition of stay in the United Kingdom Rajeev and his family were fully aware of their legal status and was correctly endorsed by the United Kingdom Authorities in plain English on their Passports when their visa was issued.
We understand the individuals behind the current Rajeev appeal are fully aware of the situation and have stated in their communications that late Rajeev and his family knowingly paid a substantive amount of money to some fraudulent agents to obtain the UK Visa and have knowingly cheated the British Immigration system and UK authorities to obtain the visa to enter in to the United Kingdom.
The individuals illegally requesting public for Rajeev Appeal in the name of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK who are involved in this appeal scam know the fraudulent agents who brought late Rajeev and his family in the United Kingdom, we now officially request the concerned individuals to report the details of the fraudulent agents to the UK authorities without delay.
The individuals behind the current Rajeev appeal scam conveniently forget the facts and exaggerated the unfortunate death of Rajeev story and dragged his family members and selling the story without any authority and in our knowledge the late Rajeev’s family have never requested for a fund raising appeal for them.
So what are these individuals here trying to unite Malayalee Hindus in the United Kingdom through the illegal appeal fundraising scam from the public and the Malyalaee Hindu Samajams in the United Kingdom?
We urge the general public who have contributed this appeal scam may need to investigate in their capacity and to use all the other avenues for the facts and possibilities whether this family really deserve a fund raising before contributing your hard earned money to Rajeev Appeal.
The message we have received states we need to transfer the Rajeev Appeal Fund to Kerala Hindu Welfare UK Bank Account. Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK (also known as Kerala Hindu Welfare UK) & Late Sivaprasad’s case:
For members awareness, Kent Hindu Samajam is one of the dedicated Founding Member of Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK and had made significant contributions thorough its extended services in uniting Malayalee Hindu Samajams in the United Kingdom through one of the WhatsApp group called Hindu Malayalees UK when the Malayalee Hindu
Community in UK had a situation to deal late Sivaprasad who was found dead in London in January 2017 and the local malayalee organisations and the Union of UK Malayalee Associations officials failed to respond and to support the repatriation of late Sivaprasad’s body to Kerala.
In addition the so called Malayalee mainstream Charity Foundation in UK were initially refused to raise fund for the repatriation of Sivaprasad’ s body to Kerala through an appeal . In that stressful situation the Malayalee Hindu Community in UK had to unite first time and to deal that situation you may be aware that Mr. Sugathan Thekkepura in his personal capacity, Sevanam UK & Kent Hindu Samajm were officially requested NORKA to help the repatriation process of Sivaprasad’s body to Kerala from UK .
Hindu Malayalees UK WhatsAPp group members were notified and have been updated with transparency detailed reports and information on a daily basis by the Kent Hindu Samajam officials with all the events and repatriation processes of late Sivaprasad from 6th January 2017 and has requested all Malayalee Hindu Samajams were operating in UK to unite and to support the late Sivaprasad Appeal.
We have also invited all the Malayalee Hindu Samajams operating in the UK and have requested to send their representatives to the meeting of UK National Malayalee / Kerala Hindu Community Welfare which was officially held on 11/02/2017 at Balaji Temple Birmingham.
In my knowledge, chairing at that meeting on 11/02/2017 few of the Hindu Samajam representatives across UK had attended the meeting and have discussed in detail the late Sivaprasad ‘s unfortunate death circumstances and to jointly support the repatriation process of late Sivaprasad’s body to Kerala and to support his family.
We also discussed the necessity of uniting Malyalee Hindus in the United Kingdom and in that meeting the Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK was formed and members who were physically attended that meeting on 11/02/2017 at Balaji Temple Birmingham are being the Founding members of Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK.
An adhoc committee was also set up temporarily in that meeting with 3 members who were volunteered in that meeting to open the bank account and have agreed to act as signatories for Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK ( also known as Kerala Hindu Welfare UK as the individual who was volunteered to open the bank account for this organisation have notified us that when he tried to open the Bank Account the Bank advised him to remove the Society from the organisation name) to collect the Sivaprasad Appeal Fund from the participated Malayalee Hindu Samajams in UK and issue cheques for his bereaved family.
The meeting were also nominated Mr. T. Haridas (Hariettan) to act as the adhoc committee Chairman for the Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK.
The founder members of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK have agreed in that meeting on 11/02/2017 and have concluded in a condition that we will evaluate and learn from the lessons of the Sivaprasad appeal fund collection process as it was the first time we have tried to unite all Malayalee Hindu Samajams in UK and jointly collect fund for an appeal and will meet again in 1 year time by February 2018 to review.
Also the meeting have requested 2 representatives members from participating Hindu Samajams to join the Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK adhoc Committee and have decided that no other activities or fund raising events will be conducted until the nominated Hindu Samajam members and the Founder members meet in February 2018 and discuss the future of the Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK and to formalise if necessary to be operational once approved by the Founder members.
But in my knowledge until today 18/03/2019 there were no official meeting held for the Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK for Founder members and the nominated members from the participated Hindu Samajams who have contributed to the late Sivaprasad Appeal .
While it stands and before we meet and formalise this as an organisation, some individuals without any organisational powers assigned to them and with no policy, protocols, rules or procedures in place for the criteria for the Appeal Fund raising from public by Kerala Hindu Welfare UK these individuals have used this platform, Kerala Hindu Welfare UK group for fund raising appeal for late Rishi and another 2 organisations in Kerala for their personal interest.
Sivaprasad’s case was instrumental uniting most of the Malayalee Hindu Samajams in UK and has supported that Sivaprasad Appeal. The other few appeals made by particular individuals through Kerala Hindu Welfare UK is totally their personal project and have misused this platform via WhatsApp. Rishi’s case we understand his employer dealt all repatriation process and as an employee of a well reputed organisation the company have paid financial compensation to his family and he may have life insurance.
Without assessing the eligibility criteria these individuals in Kerala Hindu Welfare UK WhatsApp group demanding and persuading the Malayalee Hindu Community in UK to donate for their appeal. We cannot tolerate these kinds of activities using the Kerala Hindu Welfare UK which was temporarily set up for to deal Sivaprasad Appeal only. Of course we need to support any appeal that deserves.
The meeting of 11/02/2017 never agreed to any fund raising activity after Sivaprasad’s appeal here in UK abroad. Without any policy / procedures agreed by the Founding members in a meeting how these individuals are raising funds without any authority and dealing the financial transactions in the name of Kerala Hindu Welfare (Society) UK.
Now the current Rajeev appeal an unconfirmed report says the agents brought late Rajeev and his family in UK are behind the Rajeev appeal (may be a possible scam) and the individuals who made appeal for the Kerala Hindu Welfare group to financially support.
We urge the public to investigate the links between them before you transfer any of your hard earned money to Kerala Hindu Welfare UK Bank Account. Do not rely on the online blog reports for raising funds for the so called appeals from the public.
The validation checks should be carried out by members and carefully and responsibly considered before making payments to these appeals. It is possible the late Rajeev has Life insurance policy in place, has family members in UK and in Kerala, sponsor(s) in UK and friends could financially assist the bereaving family.
We need to further investigate whether he had any assets in India and including his family and his wife’s family backgrounds before any funds raising appeal in UK.
In our understanding the major local Malayalee organisation have received an official letter from late Rajeev’s family to expedite the repatriation process and as responsible they will do the needful and understand the family have never requested any financial help from public.
A request was made previously to the adhoc committee Chairperson of Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK to call an urgent meeting for Hindu Samajam members and the Founder members who attended the meeting on 11/02/2017 and formed the Kerala Hindu Welfare UK and review the activities and the financial transactions and to agree the policy
before any appeal to are made to the public or local Hindu Samajams through Kerala Hindu Welfare UK WhatsApp group.
We have also officially warned the concerned individuals who are illegally raising funds without any authority from the public in the name of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK. Kent Hindu Samajam , as a responsible organisation, we carefully consider each financial support application / appeal requests from the public and will only support genuine fundraising appeal that warrants and deserves once thoroughly investigated / examined by our officials and confirmed the eligibility of beneficiaries before endorsing any appeal to its members.
Unfortunately on our examination we have found there are various serious concerns and misleading surrounded to this Rajeev appeal currently led by the individuals in the name of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK WhatsAPP group. Therefore at present we cannot officially endorse this appeal request to collect funds from members of the public in the United Kingdom. Kent Hindu Samajam has always supported genuine appeal requests and generated fund from its members and supporters and have forwarded to the
people who deserve.
As an established responsible organisation, Kent Hindu Samajam will continue to honour all genuine appeals it deserve once the relevant checks have been carried out by its officials before validating the fund collection for any appeals from its members and general public.
If any members have transferred money to Kerala Hindu Welfare UK bank account in their personal capacity for Rajeev appeal we would like to reiterate that Kent Hindu Samajam is not responsible for your funds as in our knowledge the 2 signatories of the Kerala Hindu Welfare UK who have opened the Bank Account have already informed that they does want be the signatories of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK also one of the Signatory have threatened in writing to us stating that he will cancel the Kerala Hindu Welfare UK cheque of £6000.00 which was issued to late Sivaprasad’s family members for the fund generated from the public and various Hindu Samajams members in these circumstances as a responsible organisation and to safeguard our members this notice / statement / response has been issued for public awareness.
Before the current issues are addressed / resolved by the Founding members of Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK, it is a crime, knowingly the individuals behind the appeal, asking the public to transfer money to Kerala Hindu Welfare UK Bank Account.
Late Sivaprasad’s appeal in 2017 we have found that the Malayalee Hindu Community in UK in general are incredibly generous in donating for the appeal that we have requested under the Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK but after that appeal there are a small minority of individuals in Kerala Hindu Welfare UK WhatsApp group who seek to exploit the goodwill for fraudulent, selfish purposes without any authority assigned to them using the name of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK for collecting funds from the public for their own personal appeals.
Kent Hindu Samajam is one of founding member of Kerala Hindu Welfare Society UK and in our knowledge we have never authorised or agreed the individuals behind the current Rajeev Appeal and few other appeals using the name of Kerala Hindu Welfare UK for fund collection from public and would like to know whether these individuals behind the current Rajeev Appeal have hijacked the Kerala Hindu Welfare (Society) UK organisation?
As a responsible organisation, and as a duty of care and to protect the public in the United Kingdom from this appeal scam, as a Legal requirement, we do not have alternative other than to refer this illegal fund raising appeal with all the supporting evidence available to us to the relevant UK government agencies for further investigation and urgent action.
Kent Hindu Samajam
Date: 18th March 2019
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