Kochi: The Kochi Music Foundation, formed by a group of filmmakers and musicians in Kerala, is in the news for all wrong reasons. The KMF which organised a music concert named Karuna in Kochi On November 1, 2019 and announced that the proceedings from the show would be donated to the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund has failed to remit the funds. It was an RTI reply from the Chief Minister’s office which revealed that the money had not been deposited.
However, following the controversy over embezzlement of money the organisers remitted Rs 6,22,000 to the CMDRF on February 14. Filmmaker Aashiq Abu, one of the organisers has posted the image of a cheque of Rs 6,22,000 for CMDRF in his Facebook page and stated that the musical event was not organised for disaster relief fund raising. But the organisers decided to hand over the proceedings to CMDRF.
Now, the controversy is getting murkier with Ernakulam district collector S. Suhas warned music composer Bijibal, another member of KMF against using his name as patron of the Foundation. Responding to the Collector’s letter filmmaker Aashiq Abu said that entering the collector’s name as patron was a technical error.
Though the funds have been transferred to CMDRF, Aashiq Abu a known Left supporter is facing the outrage in social media. The controversy has also attained political colour with the intervention of Congress leader Hibi Eden.
Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden came strongly against the KMF and Aashiq Abu and asked the Foundation to make details of the payment made to the government public. If it is not done by the KMF, government should conduct an inquiry, Hibi asked.
The music concert in which more than 50 renowned musicians from across the country performed before a packed audience at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium which was given to the organisers for free of cost. According to Hibi Eden, the stadium was given free due to pressure from the CM’s office.
Meanwhile, Yuva Morcha state secretary Sandeep G. Warrier alleged that Aashiq and Rima devoured people’s money in the name of distress relief funds. He sent a letter to noted actor Mammootty urging him to condemn the KMF for misappropriation of funds and to end ties with the Foundation.
The KMF was formed by group of celebrities including Ashiq Abu and his wife and actress Rima Kallingal, musician Shahabaz Aman, Bijibal and many others.