Right from the start of the ongoing farmers’ protests, questions have been raised about the authenticity of the protests, with doubts being raised about it being a political movement, fomented by the opposition parties led by Congress, to prevent the Modi government from carrying out the much-needed reforms. The enthusiasm and alacrity of the Congress leaders in encouraging and endorsing the protests only served to solidify the suspicions that Congress has indeed been fuelling the protests.
Later, the involvement of dubious characters such as Yogendra Yadav, Deep Sidhu, and suspicious organisations such as Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) in the ongoing farmers’ protest only added to the already battered the credibility of the demonstrations.
The hijacking of the protests by pro-Khalistani supporters who raised Khalistani slogans and held posters of Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, and the association of another shady organisation, Khalsa Aid, with the protests, has further cast a dent into the genuineness of the protests, giving an impression that the protests might be a well-thought-out conspiracy by the secessionists to revive Khalistani sentiments by engendering resentment among people against the Modi government.
Recently, Khalsa Aid had set up massage centres at the farmers’ protests in makeshift spaces at Singhu border. In a Facebook post, they announced, “Khalsa Aid India has set up this makeshift space as a massage centre. This is for our farmer brothers and sisters who were experiencing pain. We are overwhelmed by the love and blessings that our farmers bestow on us.”
Besides massage centres, Khalsa Aid has reportedly also provided the demonstrators with shelter home, footwear, bathing, hygiene kits, fogging fire extinguishers, portable washrooms and toilets and many more. The mind-bogglingly elaborate services provided by the Khalsa Aid to the protesting agitators have led many to wonder if the organisation already had a heads-up about the protests for making such detailed arrangements for the protesters.
With questions being raised about Khalsa Aid, it is pertinent to catalogue the antecedents of this dubious organisation and its CEO, Ravi Singh, who has often, unabashedly displayed his Khalistani proclivities and pursued its nefarious agenda, behind the veneer of providing humanitarian aid.
Khalsa Aid, an offshoot of the Khalistani terror outfit Babbar Khalsa, accused of financing terror acts in India
The Khalsa Aid is suspected to be a front organisation for the Khalistani outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). The NIA had registered a case in this regard in December 2012, alleging that Khalsa Aid was one of the organisations linked to the BKI funding the Indian BKI members to commit terror acts in the country.
“On the allegation that Punjab based BKI operatives are receiving money from UK based BKI operatives (viz. Balbir Singh Bains, Joga Singh) and its front organizations, including but not limited to, Sikh Organisation for Prisoner Welfare (SoPW), Akhand Kirtanee Jattha (AKJ) and Khalsa Aid, to commit terrorist acts in India, with the active support of Pakistan based BKI leaders (Wadhwa Singh, Jagtar Singh Tara). Further, Intelligence suggested that the money is being distributed to sleeper cells, jailed terrorists and the families of the terrorists in Punjab,” the NIA summarised the case.
Unfortunately, the case has hit a dead wall for the past one and a half years as the Britain government had declined to share evidence on the accused based in the UK into the terrorist funding case related to the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).
Murky finances and illegal fund-raising characterises Khalsa Aid International
Besides being allegedly involved in funding terror activities in India, Khalsa Aid International has also been accused of illegally raising funds and being non-transparent about how they utilise the pooled funds. A report published in the Tribune India Service stated that Khalsa Aid has often sought donations in the name of charity but those funds have often failed to reach the beneficiaries.
The Khalsa Aid International is a non-accredited organisation in Australia and it does not appear in the list of registered organisations in the country. As per the Australian rules, fundraising for a non-accredited organization within its territory is a legal offence. But over the years, Khalsa Aid had raised millions of dollars from Australian cities, including Sydney. Following this revelation, two prominent Gurudwaras in Sydney decided to stop funding the contentious organisation and started helping the poor directly.
Another incident that highlighted the murky operations of the Khalsa Aid’s “humanitarian work” was when the organisation had to grudgingly admit that it had never been to Syria for any kind of work after it sought donations in the name of rehabilitating victims in the war-ravaged Syria.
The organisation also claims that it has provided services to victims in Bangladesh and Kerala, but the financial details of the organisation have no mention of the organisation’s charitable work in the above-mentioned places.
Ravi Singh, the CEO of Khalsa Aid, accused of being a cheater and running a crooked organisation
The person who heads the Khalsa International Aid is as dubious as the organisation he heads, if not more. According to a person who penned his brush with the Khalsa Aid CEO, Singh exploited people by appealing to their empathy, asking them to donate money for the welfare of poor, victims of atrocities, etc., using only a part of it on the actual aid and using the remaining amount on himself.
The user alleged Singh to be an opportunist who, in the name of fundraising for the needy and the poor, sought publicity by uploading videos of himself donating money and other essential items to the people. The person also stated that money in the tunes of lakhs and crores were raised by Singh but only a few thousands were donated to the needy. Moreover, the person, claimed that there were gross irregularities in Khalsa Aid’s projects, no transparency in accounts held by them and money raised for a specific purpose were diverted for personal expenses and other projects.
According to Ajmer Singh Randhawa, the person who wrote down his encounter with Khalsa Aid CEO Ravi Singh, after much pressure and persuasion, when the expenditure and collection of funds were made public, he was astonished to find that against the collection of Rs 7 crore, only Rs 35 lakhs were spent on helping the families of Sikh Dharmi Fauzis and martyrs.
For Ravi Singh, Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is a “champion of oppressed” and “son of Punjab”
The CEO of Khalsa Aid has on more than one occasion exhibited his Khalistani proclivities, taking up the cudgel for Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and proffering flimsy arguments to allege that he was not a terrorist. Following Barkha Dutt’s interview with Deep Sidhu, Singh alluded that journalists are uneducated and misled to call Bhindranwale a terrorist because he did not have any outstanding warrant against him.
In fact, Singh’s support for Bhindranwale is not a new phenomenon. Over the years, he has been diligently supporting Bhindranwale while attempting to discredit those who raise questions over Bhindranwale’s link to Khalistani terrorism.
Singh even hailed Bhindranwale as a “Lion”, trotting out the same hoary platitudes that he has been mouthing off for years that Bhindranwale has no criminal case or had an arrest warrant against him that lions do not surrender.
In one other tweet, Singh had glorified Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as a “son of Punjab” and “champion of oppressed, and who witnessed the “economic rape of Panjab by the Indian regime”.
Contrary to facts, Ravi Singh believes RSS was involved in 1984 anti-Sikh genocide
Bhindranwale even also holds grouse for RSS being credited for saving Sikh lives during the anti-Sikh pogrom presided over by the Congress leaders and their supporters in 1984 following the death of the former PM Indira Gandhi. Counterintuitively, Singh believes Sikhs were saved by ordinary Hindus while alleging that RSS members were in cahoots with the Congress leaders in perpetuating the atrocities against Sikhs.
Khalsa Aid CEO Ravi Singh comes out in support of Pakistan after Nankana Sahib stone-pelting incident
Earlier this year, the Sikh shrine of Nankana Sahib came under attack from bigoted Pakistanis, led by the family of a boy who had allegedly abducted the daughter of an official of the gurdwara in August last year and forcefully converted her.
Singh was at the receiving end of social media fury when he casually asked “What is the situation at Nankana Sahib? Was there a mob of fanatics throwing stones at the Gurdwara Sahib”? Later, Singh took to Twitter to whitewash the atrocities meted out to Sikhs in Pakistan, stating that a few fanatics do not represent the whole of Pakistan.
In a separate incident, when one of the Twitter users stated that Pakistan is using Sikhs to avenge its dismemberment of erstwhile East Pakistan, Singh once again came out in support of Pakistan, glossing over their role of instigating Sikhs against India by highlighting a disconnected case of invasion of Harmander Sahib in 1984.
Singh opposes construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya
A day before the Bhoomi pujan of the Ram Temple was organised in Ayodhya this year, the Khalsa Aid leader Ravi Singh had taken to Twitter to spew venom against Hindus and oppose the construction of the temple that has the legal imprimatur of the Supreme Court of the country.
In his tweet, Singh urged the Sikh leadership to not attend the ground-laying ceremony and alleged that a 500-year-old mosque was legally destroyed at the place by right-wing fanatics in 1992 and termed Hindutva as a “destructive ideology”.
Singh maligns the Indian Armed Forces, accuses them of murdering Sikhs in fake encounters
Singh, who is now extending “humanitarian aid” to the protesters creating ruckus along the Delhi borders, had in the past also maligned the Indian Paramilitary forces, making slanderous and unsubstantiated allegations against them.
Sikh preposterously claimed that 1000s of Sikh youths were murdered in fake encounters by the forces and those who spoke of the genocide were also killed.
Khalsa Aid served tea and snacks to rampaging anti-CAA protesters
When the anti-CAA protests swept large swathes of northern India, especially the capital and Uttar Pradesh, Singh had extended his support to the protesters at the Jamia Millia Islamia who had indulged in vandalism, arson and stone-pelting under the pretext of carrying out peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Singh had urged Gurudwaras to open their doors to the anti-India brigade that was bent on fomenting unrest.
The volunteers of Khalsa Aid were also seen serving snacks and tea to the protesters in Delhi who were demonstrating against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
From supporting Khalistani terrorism, defending Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, to swindling money in the name of fund-raising, railing against the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, defaming the Indian Armed Forces, and coming out in support of Pakistan, Khalsa Aid International and its CEO Ravi Singh have their hands in an array of anti-Indian activities.
Their association with the ongoing farmers’ protest in the country not only discredits the protests but also betrays that behind the facade of demonstrations, lies an ulterior motive of fomenting trouble in the country to undermine the Modi government.