A.P.J. Mohamed Muthu Meera Maraikayar, elder brother of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help restore Kalam’s digital assets which, he alleged, were being misused by many, including some who had worked with the late leader.

In his letter dated June 24, 2018, a copy of which is available with
The Hindu
, Mr. Maraikayar requested the Prime Minister to take action at the earliest to prevent millions of Kalam’s followers from being duped. Pointing out that the family had been running the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam International Foundation in Rameswaram, spearheading all of his missions under one roof, Mr. Maraikayar said the family “seeks your advice and help to restore the legacy of Kalam that is being misused by many.”

Ulterior motives alleged

The family had come across many instances of people collecting donations in the name of the former President, Mr. Maraikayar said. The family’s legal team said that hundreds of organisations were functioning in the country in the name of Kalam with “ulterior motives”. The family was also getting queries from people from different parts of the country about the authenticity of such organisations, Mr. Maraikayar said.

He said that after Kalam’s demise, Srijan Pal Singh, heading the ‘Kalam Centre’ in Delhi, started handling the late leader’s official Twitter handle and Facebook page, claiming that he was an ‘OSD & Advisor (Tech and Policy) to Kalam, when no such post existed. “Mr. Singh, who was a freelance assistant with Mr. Kalam, has been communicating with the people and misusing his [Kalam’s] name and office,” Mr. Maraikayar alleged.

Claiming to have branches in Singapore, Visakhapatnam, Bahrain, Lucknow, Mumbai and Bengaluru, Mr. Singh’s ‘Kalam Centre’ had been receiving funds from many agencies, Mr Maraikayar alleged. After the family took objection to this, Mr. Singh handed over Kalam’s Twitter handle, but with just 27 followers, after ensuring that nearly two million followers had migrated to his account, he said. The official handle now had about 1,000 followers, he said, adding, “The family is keen on preserving all thoughts of Kalam that were tweeted and are now missing.”

A.P.J. M.J. Sheik Saleem, grand-nephew of Kalam, said the family had also written to the Defence and Law Ministers in this regard, but had not received any response. On Friday, the family raised the issue with the State Information Technology Minister, M. Manikandan, and based on the latter’s suggestion, were planning to meet the Director General of Police.

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