Owner of IMA Mohammed Mansoor Khan (L), police personnel outside IMA office in Bengaluru
BENGALURU: Numerous Ponzi schemes inKarnatakahave duped people of their money, but the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) group scam has done irreparable damage to middle-class investors while simultaneously eroding public trust in Muslim politicians and ulemas (Islamic scholars).
Politicians of the minority community admitted that their credibility was at stake, because of their public association with IMA’s founder-owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan, his criminal organization to legitimacy. They said the impact of the swindle by Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, whose business model was similar to IMA’s, would have been compared to the negative fallout from the IMA rip-off.
IMA office in Shivajinagar
“Politicians were spotted with Mansoor at public functions as hosted such as mushairas (poetic symposiums),” a source said. “But Mansour actually got his audit books endorsed. Two years ago, he brought out a booklet based on these endorsements, stating that all investments in his firm were (permissible). “
A senior Muslim Congress leader said that there is a crisis of confidence in the community.
“Certain ulemas, instead of speaking on the Quran’s teachings in their Friday sermons, asked their congregations to pray for the welfare of Mansoor and his companies,” he said. “Some of them also issued favors endorsing their business, when most of them were unaware of how financial institutions should operate.”
Hundreds of investors have filed a police complaint at the convention center
Sources said a majority of Muslim politicians were beneficiaries of Mansoor’s largesse either through funding or projects like renovations of government schools.
“The fact that they were seen with Mansur gave confidence to people who had some savings,” one source said.
Complaint letters submitted by investors in IMA ponzi scam are piling up at Commercial Street Police Station
In Karnataka, Muslim political leadership has largely been the monopoly of the Congress. But Muslim leaders have never been able to unite as a consolidated entity. “Jealousy among leaders, political machinations to upstage one another and a generation gap are the causes that the community does not speak in voice,” a source said.
That the Congress gave just one ticket to the community in the recent Lok Sabha poll, when the norm in the past two to three, has demotivated Muslim leaders. “The party leadership has taken the community for granted. The Lok Sabha poll, in which many Muslims voted for the BJP, should be an eye-opener, “a source said.
Members of the community said that there was no true Muslim leader after former Minister Azeez Sait, who passed away in 2001, and was known for his no-nonsense stand on issues.
“Money power works now, which is not my style of functioning,” a Muslim Congress leader said. “The Congress sidelined people like K Rahman Khan, CK Jaffer Sharief (when he was alive), CM Ibrahim and K Naseer Ahmed for their candid views.”
Young politicians like Rizwan Arshad, UT Khader, NA Haris and Syed Naseer Hussain wield considerable influence in the party, but are still a chord with the community, he said.