‘Give fund collectors’ details’

Raipur, Jan 29 (PTI):
The Chhattisgarh government has written to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust asking it to provide details of persons, organisations and trusts authorised to collect donations in the state for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, an official said on Friday.
The move came in the wake of a case registered against a woman in Bilaspur last week for allegedly fraudulently collecting funds for the temple construction.
In a letter to Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Chhattisgarh chief secretary Amitabh Jain said it had been noticed that a few undesirable persons, elements, institutions were allegedly indulging in fraudulent, illegal recovery of funds by printing receipts with an intention to misuse public sentiments in the name of Ram Mandir construction. In this direction, a case has been registered against a woman for alleged illegal recovery of funds in Bilaspur, an official said quoting the CS’ letter.
“The chief secretary urged Rai to provide information regarding persons, trusts and institutions authorised to collect donations in the state, so that the administration can put a check on illegal, fraudulent fund recovery in the name of temple construction,” he added.
Talking to reporters on Thursday evening, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said details about authorised donation collectors would help police to take appropriate action against those indulging in frauds.
“Therefore, we sought information from the Trust about those who have been assigned to collect funds in the state so that such authorised people will be known to the government as well as people and police can take action in case of illegal recovery,” he said.
Reacting to the letter, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ghanshyam Chaudhary said there was no issue in sharing details of those authorised to collect “nidhi samarpan” (funds) for the temple construction.
However, he raised doubts over the intention of the state government, and said “it seems, through this letter the state government is trying to create confusion among people and disrupt the drive”.
Chaudhary heads the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Nidhi Samarpan Samiti in Chhattisgarh and is overseeing the fund- raising drive for the temple here.

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