British Hindu body condemns report about official


London : The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) has condemned a report in the British press alleging that Ramesh Kallidai, its secretary general, had "close association with violent extremists".

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According to a report in the Evening Standard, concerns had been raised over the inclusion of Kallidai in the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. The report alleged that Kallidai's links with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad were controversial.

Reacting to the allegation by the newspaper, the HFB said in a release: "This is absolutely not the case and is simply untrue. In fact, Kallidai has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of thousands of Hindus in the UK and built good relations with various faith communities.

"This article, which is full of fundamental factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated accusations, aims to do nothing more than destroy the reputation of a man who has given so much selfless service in the interfaith arena, all of which has been performed without any thought of reward or personal benefit.

"The Evening Standard has attributed quotes to Kallidai which are inaccurate and completely out of context. It also implies HFB's and Kallidai's guilt by association, rather than any valid argument and evidence, of involvement in illegal activities.

"The paper gave Kallidai, the Hindu Forum of Britain and Hindu Aid a matter of hours, on a Sunday, to respond to these serious allegations and despite requests to allow adequate time to respond, published the article, without hearing from us."

The HFB statement includes its responses to the various points mentioned about Kallidai in the newspaper report.