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No Fear No Favour

Journalist Rana Ayyub breaks her silence after her assets worth ₹ 1.77 crore attached

Written By: Aashish Vashistha

On Thursday, February 10, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth over ₹1.77 crore in connection with a case allegedly involving journalist Rana Ayyub. This action has been taken on the basis of a a First Information Report (FIR).
As per reports, this FIR has been registered by the Indirapuram Police Station in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad against Ms. Ayyub, alleging that she has illegally acquired money from common public in the name of charity. This FIR is lodged by Vikas Sankrityayan.

As per FIR, Ms. Ayyub raised amounts running into crores via “Ketto”, an online crowd funding platform,in three campaigns. The funds were collected for farmers, poor and slum dwellers during April- May 2020; relief work for Bihar, Assam and Maharashtra during June-September 2020 and also help for COVID-19 impacted people during May-June 2021. Funds totalling amount ₹2,69,44,680 were raised on Ketto by Rana Ayyub. These funds were withdrawn in the bank accounts of her sister/father. Of this amount, ₹72,01,786 was withdrawn in her own bank account,” the probe agency said.

After these allegations, Ms. Ayyub on Friday issued a statement on Twitter where She refuted all allegations of misappropriation of funds received as donations and she alao shared details of how the money was raised on crowdfunding platform Ketto and spent thereafter. Ayyub said the various allegations reported in the media are “baseless, mala fide and fanciful”. The ED has alleged that donations raised by her for major relief work through the online platform “Ketto” were used for her personal expenses and it falls under money laundering case.

The ED has said in its probe that fake bills were found to have been prepared by Rana Ayyub in the name of some entities to claim expenses on relief work and expenses made for personal travel by air were claimed as expense for relief work”. Rana Ayyub said in her statement, “The smear campaign against me will not deter me from my professional commitment to continue to do my work as a journalist, and especially to raise critical issues and ask inconvenient questions, as is my duty as a journalist in a constitutional democracy. I am confident that the allegations levelled against me will not withstand any fair and honest scrutiny.”

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