Rohingya leader accuse internet sensation Pavez Ilahi fraud; shows evidence

Rohingya youth activist Ali Jouhar accuse social media sensation Parvez Elahi for fraud and indoctrinating people with lies. Jouhar, A refugee from Kalindi Kunj Rohingya camp, came out with strong allegations including misuse of donations, imposter, forging of stories and misrepresenting Rohingyas. Even though the accusations came out on Sunday, Parvez is yet to give an official response to the allegations.

 When fire burned down the camps in June 2018, Elahi reached out to Jouhar and offered to financial support. He kept asking for the photos to raise funds and eventually told Jouhar that he will transfer two lakhs collected. Since then, Elahi avoided Jouhar’s messages asking for details of Fund Transfer.

“It was desperate time, rebuilding the camps, I tried to push him with threats of going legally” says Jouhar. Parvez responded with many excuses, eventually he said his team was going to visit the camp and handover the fund. Which Ali Jouhar ensures didn’t happen in Kalandi Kunj.

Ali Jouhar is a youth leader from Rohingya community and founder of rohingya literacy program. A student of Delhi University, he is widely recognised as the representative of his community.

“I was told that Saleem and Ali Jouhar was mishandling funds, so didn’t want to give it to them,” says Parvez. In his response to the allegation, he said the funds were distributed to Kelambakam camp in Tamil Nadu. But he was not willing to give details about the fund transfer. When question were raised about the post that contradict his claim, he said the funds were distributed in Haryana camp, which he couldn’t identify.

Story of Parvez claiming that the donations were distributed. the images used were shared by Ali jouhar to Parvez.

After running the story in Maktoob media Malayalam on sunday, Parvez Elahi contacted Ali Jouhar and said he is still in possession of the 1.5 lakhs of two lakhs, which he collected after the fire in June 2018. He also says that fifty thousand were spend at Kelambakkam refugee Camp in Tamil Nadu and his plan was to visit the camp with the donation in the upcoming Ramadan.

Parvez Elahi, introducing himself as “the Roamer” became a social media sensation after his first visit to kalandi kunj camp with homemade food for Eid celebration. His human interest stories about the tragedies of Rohingyas gave his a reputation of humanitarian and eventually turning into a youth icon. His stories and travelogues gave him many platforms across Kerala and gulf region. He himself has shared stories about mass fund collection for rohingya rehabilitation. His hitch-hiking trips and support works for Kerala flood got overwhelming response.

screenshots of conversation between Parvez Ilahi and Ali Jouhar. Source: Ali Jouhar

Ali Jouhar, with the help of their WhatsApp conversation, explains how Ilhai was introduced by the Mutual friend Saleem, another camp inmate. Elhai who introduced himself as a photojournalist offered help to raise fund for Ali Jouhar’s Project. He convinced Jouhar to share photographs from the camp in order to efficiently raise Fund. “He was desperate for our photos, we didn’t know about the stories”, says Jouhar, who doesn’t use Instagram.

 In detailed investigation, the image Parvez posted to be from Kelambakam was actually a photograph from Coz Bazaar in Bangladesh clicked for Reuters.  The images of Umaira Beegum used for his independently organised TED talks in Brennam College, Kannur were found on news portal, ‘the Wire’ with credits to Hina Fathima.

Abu Hussain, (which literally means father of Hussain) a four year boy Parvez met in the camp orphaned by the violent genocide in Myanmar, was recognised as Rahman. Who lives in the camp with his parents Fayazul Kalam and Taslima.

Unlike Parvez’s Post, International Convention of Rohingya Genocide organised in Delhi on April 2018 had no keynote speaker called Parvez Ilahi, Confirms organisers. Elhai in his post of with the poster having his name shares gratitude to Ali Jouhar for the invitation. His name was included along with key figures such as Nobel prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, Prashant Bhushan Mani Shankar Aiyer and other prominent figures. “Even the names of other speakers with lower profile including myself were omitted from the poster,” says Ali Jouhar.  

In an interview with a lead newspaper, Parvez says he saw refugee children eating rats in the camp. The quote became a headline of his feature story, which got backlash from other volunteers from other student volunteers from Kerala. In shared evidence, Parvez admit the mistake and says to correct the statement, which never happened. “Since 2012, we are well fed by Zakath Foundation and other organisations,” says Ali Jouhar in shock. “It’s not something likely to happen here. Even though we have many other problems like sanitation, infrastructure, we don’t have that situation.

screenshot of Parvez story about an article in Suprabadam

“I have never thought some people can exploit vulnerable and destitute people for their fame and personal benefits such a dirty way, it is very disappointing. These claims are to degrade the works of other organisations and good people and have to be stopped,” Ali Jouhar told Maktoob media.

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