London, Feb 20: The UK has launched a probe after a "disturbing" footage caught a teacher on camera making anti-Muslim and Christian remarks to students at a camp organised by an RSS-inspired charity.
The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) UK - operating in the country since 1968 - is ideologically inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Britain's charities watchdog opened a statutory probe after concerns were raised on its "extremist" views and "improper" working this week.
The charity came under scanner after the ITV Network in its documentary 'Charities Behaving Badly' showed the HSS teacher at a youth camp in Herefordshire making controversial remarks against other religions when responding to questions.
"We are disturbed at the footage we have seen - some of which is so serious it is clearly a matter for the police," said Michelle Russell, director of investigations, monitoring and enforcement at Charity Commission. "Rightly, the public will be concerned about the footage and the implications for public trust and confidence in these charities, and the potential impact on the charity sector more generally.
We can reassure the public that we take these issues seriously," she said. The statutory inquiry will investigate comments made by the individual invited to speak at the charity event in the presence of the charity's beneficiaries and the management and oversight by the trustees of such events.
"These kinds of incidents illustrate why it is important for the regulator to have the right tools to do the job. There are currently loopholes in the existing regulatory framework which we are seeking to close by looking for increased powers in the draft Protection of Charities Bill," Russell said.
The commission said that in the case of HSS UK, this is new information that has been brought to its attention and that has resulted in immediate regulatory action. UK-based Islamic and Sikh charities have also faced similar heat.
In the case of an Islamic charity, Global Aid Trust, the chief executive has stepped down after the ITV investigation staff was caught by praising terrorists and even offering advice on how to become a jihadist in Syria.