India has made it clear that it is not going to take any of the “misleading narratives” coming from the so-called human rights experts from the United Nations. India has taken strong exception to the misreporting of the latest case involving money-laundering allegations against Rana Ayyub. So, what is this controversy all about?
UN rapporteurs issue condescending remarks about India
Irene Khan, the special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights Defenders, said that “relentless misogynistic and sectarian attacks online” against Ayyub must be investigated by Indian authorities.
And then, they also demanded that the “judicial harassment against her brought to an end at once.”
The UN website stated, “They pointed to the attacks as resulting from Ms. Ayyub’s reporting on issues affecting minority Muslims in the country, her criticism of the Government for its handling of the pandemic, and comments that she made on a recent ban on hijabs at schools and colleges in Karnataka state.”
What is the entire case?
If you read what the so-called experts at the United Nations have to say, you will feel as if India is committing some sort of human rights abuse. I mean with all the talk about “harassment” by authorities, the rapporteurs were trying to paint a gloomy picture.
But what is the real cause? Well, it all started with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attaching funds belonging to Ayyub worth Rs 1.77 crore collected for relief work. The funds were lying unutilised in her account and also included a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakh in her father’s name.
Ayyub raised a total of over Rs. 2.6 crore through three fundraising campaigns at different times in 2020 and 2021. A part of the funds was parked in the bank accounts of her father and sister, which was subsequently transferred to her account. Now, this money was never meant for personal use and therefore it came under scrutiny.
Several allegations are appearing in the case now. ED says fake bills were prepared by Ayyub to claim expenses for relief work. Not just this. She is also accused of several FCRA violations.
She allegedly received foreign donations without taking a prior FCRA clearance. And she also failed to report receiving an amount of around Rs 75-80 lakh to the Union Home Ministry as per the FCRA.
India blasts so-called UN human rights experts
So, you know what the UN rapporteurs said and you also know what the entire case is about. A simple money laundering investigation is being spun into a huge human rights issue by UN officials. And therefore, New Delhi is furious.
Following the condescending remarks by UN Geneva, India’s permanent mission to the UN in Geneva tweeted, “Allegations of so-called judicial harassment are baseless & unwarranted. India upholds the rule of law but is equally clear that no one is above the law.
We expect SRs to be objective & accurately informed. Advancing a misleading narrative only tarnishes
Allegations of so-called judicial harassment are baseless & unwarranted. India upholds the rule of law, but is equally clear that no one is above the law.
We expect SRs to be objective & accurately informed. Advancing a misleading narrative only tarnishes @UNGeneva’s reputation https://t.co/3OyHq4HncD
— India at UN, Geneva (@IndiaUNGeneva) February 21, 2022
And India isn’t stopping here. It is looking to take the UN Geneva to task over the matter. The tweet countering the ultra-biased remarks by the special rapporteurs was followed up by a note verbale from India’s permanent mission. And the issue has also been taken up by the Indian side with the UN office in Geneva.
India is thus exposing how the UN rapporteurs made unsolicited, unjustified remarks about Rana Ayyub‘s ‘harassment’ by India. UN Geneva probably believed that it can slander India without any repercussions, but New Delhi’s sharp reaction shows that this controversy isn’t going to end well for them.