Named in FIR over donations, Rana Ayyub calls it malicious, bullying

The FIR was based on a complaint by a Hindu IT Cell co-founder, who accused Rana Ayyub of illegally acquiring public money in the name of Ketto.

Journalist Rana Ayyub Saturday said the FIR lodged against her for alleged misutilisation of funds collected as donation for relief work was “malicious and baseless”, and that she would not bow down to “bullying tactics”.

The Ghaziabad Police has registered an FIR against Ayyub after online crowdfunding platform Ketto sent an email to those who donated money to campaigns started by her, saying they had been informed by the “Indian law enforcement agencies” that the funds were “not utilised for the purpose for which they were raised”.

The FIR was based on a complaint by a Hindu IT Cell co-founder, who accused her of illegally acquiring public money in the name of Ketto.

“The Hindu IT Cell has lodged a malicious and baseless FIR against me in Uttar Pradesh, alleging that I have fraudulently taken donations on Ketto for Covid relief work. I have been defamed, trolled and abused online on the basis of this allegation. For the record, I wish to inform everyone that the entire donation received through Ketto is accounted for, and not a single paisa has been misused. The receipt of donations did not violate any law,” Ayyub said in a statement uploaded on Twitter.

“Further, I have paid a heavy amount of tax on the donations, as directed by the CBDT, although I believe the donations ought not to have been taxed so that more money could be used for relief work. Such donations are exempt from taxes as per the policy and law of the land, and I am taking necessary steps in that regard with the CBDT. My accounts and the donations have both been scrutinised by the IT Department, and a fair investigation will bring out the truth for all,” she said.

She said “any amount of hate and propaganda” will not stop her from pursuing her profession honestly, nor will she allow “bullying tactics” to prevent her from doing relief work “when it is most needed”.

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