Was dubious NGO Miles2Smile building illegal structures fo…[ad_1]
On 20th August, the founder of dubious organisation Miles2Smile, Aasif Mujtaba, shared a thread on X (formerly Twitter) accusing the Government of Haryana of demolishing structures that his organisation built over three years. He said that he felt like going to a war zone after visiting Firozpur Jhirka in district Nuh of Haryana. A total of 106 structures built by his organisation were razed down following a crackdown on illegal structures by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) Haryana Government.
Returning from #FirozpurJhirka at #Nuh feels like coming back from a war zone. One of the village of #FirozpurJhirka called #DoodhGhati looks like an earthquake affected area. In the entirety of 3.5 years of our relief works through #Miles2smile , I have never seen the… pic.twitter.com/xcsT5ZQXAF— Aasif Mujtaba (@MujtabaAasif) August 20, 2023
He wrote, “Returning from #FirozpurJhirka at #Nuh feels like coming back from a war zone. One of the villages of #FirozpurJhirka, called #DoodhGhati, looks like an earthquake-affected area. In the entirety of 3.5 years of our relief works through #Miles2smile, I have never seen the devastation of this scale by bulldozing. A total of 106 structures(semi-permanent) were razed to the ground by the administration.”
Ahmad, a moazzin in the local mosque was living in the area for almost a decade. His house was bulldozed & everything was crushed in the rubble. + pic.twitter.com/FIDVePG22U— Aasif Mujtaba (@MujtabaAasif) August 20, 2023
He claimed that the people of Doodh Ghati, whose organisation provided “semi-permanent” structures, were not given time to take household goods from the house. In another tweet, he claimed that the belongings in the structure built by his organisation Miles2Smile were crushed under the bulldozer during an anti-encroachment drive by the administration.
Through @miles2smile_ we have started relief & rehabilitation work in the village. We have also made lists as per priority and are hoping to relocate & rebuild houses of some of the families. pic.twitter.com/nKk22nAVYi— Aasif Mujtaba (@MujtabaAasif) August 20, 2023
He accused the administration of pulling people out of bed and bulldozing the illegal structures. Aasif has restarted the “relief” work in the village, aiming to relocate and rebuild the houses for the “affected”.
In one of the campaigns for Nuh, M2S has already collected the targetted amount of 2.52 lakhs. While Aasif is running a campaign after the demolition of illegal structures in Nagina of Nuh, it has to be pointed out that the rioters burnt an oil mill belonging to a BJP leader in Nagina during Nuh Violence. BJP’s Shiv Kumar Arya’s shop was looted and burnt to ashes. He suffered losses worth Rs 1.5 cr+.
What is Miles2Smile
Miles2Smile Foundation is a dubious organisation that gained popularity for its “relief work” for illegal Rohingyas and Muslim victims of the Delhi anti-Hindu riots in 2020. From time to time, the organisation has raised funds via its campaigns and built semi-permanent structures, arranged education for illegal Rohingyas’ children and more. In general terms, it claims to be an organisation that provides relief and rehabilitation to distressed individuals or groups and educational upliftment of the marginalised and underprivileged.
Several other left-liberal ‘journalists’, including propaganda portal Alt News’ co-founder Mohammed Zubair also shared the links of the alleged fundraisers asking people to fund M2S campaigns.
Miles2Smile came into existence after anti-Hindu riots in Delhi to support “Muslim Victims”. From medical camps to “legal aid” to the Muslims, the organisation has been proactively supporting Muslims and illegal Rohingya immigrants. In 2022, it was claimed actor Hritik Roshan donated to the organisation, but it was later debunked.
Miles2Smiles work with Rohingyas and work specifically in Nuh
In April 2022, OpIndia reported that the organisation had set up a learning centre at a Rohingya camp at Nuh in Haryana. The organisation had raised funds for the construction work for the Rohingya Refugees at Nuh in Haryana and had also built housing units, he claimed on Twitter in January this year. It is worth noting that Nuh belongs to Mewat in Haryana, the region that is notoriously known as “Mini Pakistan”, where tales of abduction, rapes and forced conversions of Hindus have been routinely reported.
Besides learning centres for illegal Rohingya Muslims settled in the county, the Miles2Smiles had also started a fundraising event to enrol around 150 Rohingya kids on the centre to make them learn English, Maths, Science, and Computers along with Urdu and Arabic. Strangely, the foundation had also arranged Quran classes for the Rohingya kids at the refugee camps at Nuh, Haryana.
In March 2022, Aasif Mujtaba tweeted that it was heart-wrenching for him to witness the atrocities and genocide being allegedly committed against the Rohingya Muslims and expressed happiness for working with them in Nuh and Delhi.
Did Miles2Smiles build houses illegally?
Days after Islamists unleashed violence in the Nuh district of Haryana, the BJP-led State government cracked down on the illegal encroachments of over 200 rioters on Thursday, 3rd August 2023. The demolition drive continued for a couple of days, after which the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the process.
On 17th August, In an affidavit submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Nuh district Dhirendra Khadgata refuted allegations of “pick and choose policy” with regard to the recent demolition drive conducted by the state administration against illegal construction in the district.
DC informed that most of the encroachers were issued notices pertaining to their illegal constructions between two to six years back. The affidavit stated that five departments, public authorities, and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) had undertaken routine demolition drives in their respective areas in Nuh till 7th August.
“It is pertinent to mention here that the Department of Town & Country Planning had detected unauthorised constructions in the form of shops, masjids, and foundations of structures at DPC level,” the affidavit stated.
According to the 400-page affidavit, a total of 354 people were affected by the demolition drive in Nuh, of whom 71 were Hindus and 283 were Muslims. Furthermore, it was stated that out of the 38 shops demolished, 55 per cent belonged to Hindus. It was mentioned that a total of 443 properties were demolished, of which 162 were permanent while 281 were temporary. The affidavit emphasised that caste, creed, or religious considerations had no bearing on the government’s decisions.
According to the affidavit, the district had a total population of 10,89,263, of which 79.20 per cent were Muslims and 20.37 per cent were Hindus, according to the 2011 Census. “The 2011 Census demonstrates unequivocally that Nuh is a district with a Muslim majority. Furthermore, 14,21,933 people are anticipated to live in Nuh in 2023. It is important to note that Muslims make up approximately 87% of the population in Ferozepur Jhirka and Punhana tehsil in Nuh district, respectively”, the affidavit stated.
As the government has categorically said the structures were illegal, does that mean the organisation did not take prior permission to build the structures as part of the “relief work” for the illegal immigrants in Nuh? Miles2Smile’s found is evidently admitting indirectly that the “semi-permanent” structures were indeed illegal as the government demolished them after serving notices more than two years ago. Notably, his “relief work” was reported in 2021 by OpIndia, which syncs with the Government’s affidavit that the encroachment was going on for over two years.
Rohingyas arrested for Nuh violence
According to reports, there are approximately two thousand Rohingyas currently residing in Nuh, and a large number of them possess UN-issued refugee cards. They have again attracted attention due to their involvement in the recent violence in Nuh on 31st July. The police have registered more than 20 cases and arrested around 25 Rohingya refugees.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the UN had given all of them refugee identity cards. Most of the Rohingyas living in Nuh are from Myanmar’s Rakhine state. After the violence in 2017, they came to Nuh through many routes in India.
Following the emergence of a Rohingya link to the Nuh violence, the district administration has initiated a comprehensive inquiry. Two Rohingya Muslims were caught with an Aadhar card and other documents during the investigation. According to a police official, their investigation unveiled the presence of approximately 2000 Rohingya families within the district, whose identification documents will undergo thorough scrutiny. The process of obtaining Aadhaar cards for this populace will also be subjected to investigation. The administration employed a bulldozer to raze around 200 slums in Tavdu, where these Rohingya families resided.
The investigation has brought to light the participation of numerous Rohingya families residing in both Nuh and its neighbouring villages in the recent outbreak of violence. The apprehension of Saifullah and Mehboob has effectively jolted the administration awake from its previous slumber. Notably, the 200 slums situated in Tavdu were constructed on land belonging to the Haryana Urban Development Authority. In the aftermath of the violence, the administration demolished these slums.
In March 2021, it was reported that Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) had been raising the issue of Rohingyas in the country for a very long time. They have specifically pointed out that thousands of illegal Rohingyas were present in Nuh. According to a 2021 Jagran report, 2 thousand Rohingyas live in Mewat district alone. However, the VHP does not believe these numbers. The national spokesperson of the VHP, Vinod Bansal, claims that their numbers are in lakhs. Most Rohingyas living in Haryana reportedly settled in Mewat (Nuh), Faridabad, Gurugram, Palwal and Yamunanagar districts. Other districts in the state also have Rohingya Muslims, but it is difficult to trace them since most of them have forged IDs like Aadhar cards, Ration cards and voter cards.
Background on Nuh violence
On 31st July, a mob of hundreds of Muslim rioters attacked Hindu devotees participating in the Brijmandal Jalabhishek Yatra in Nuh, Mewat of Haryana. At least six people, including innocent 4 Hindus and two policemen, were killed as a result of the riots.
Furthermore, a cyber crime police station was attacked in Nuh. Police officials were injured. Home guards were killed. The rioters first shot one of the Bajrang Dal activists, Abhishek, then his throat was slit, and his head was crushed, leading to his death.
During the investigation into the riots, OpIndia accessed over 25 FIRs and complaints that provided a clearer picture of what happened during the violence. Based on information available via FIRs, complaints and witnesses, the attack appeared pre-planned. OpIndia came across several videos posted two days before the Jalabhishek Yatra instigating Muslims against Hindus.
Muslims have claimed the riots happened because of Bajrang Dal activist and Gau Rakshak Monu Manesar. Old videos of Manesar were circulated to instigate Muslims, saying he was going to Nuh on that day. The video that was mostly circulated was from October 2022. Detailed reports can be checked here.
OpIndia’s complete Mewat Shobha Yatra Attack coverage can be checked here.
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