Updated: September 17, 2021 7:21:22 am
Several activists and public intellectuals Thursday condemned the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids carried out at multiple locations in the city connected to retired IAS officer and activist Harsh Mander. They said the raids were a part of a “continuing chain of abuse of state institutions” to silence its critics.
The 29 persons who signed the statement include activist Aruna Roy, former Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, Economist Jean Dreze, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, DU Professor Apoorvanand, women’s activists Kavita Krishnan and Annie Raja among others. The statement is being circulated for more endorsements even now.
“This morning, September 16, 2021, officers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at the offices of the Centre of Equity Studies (CES) Delhi, headed by Harsh Mander. They also raided his private home in Vasant Kunj. The Income Tax (IT) department has simultaneously raided one of the children’s shelter homes run by an allied institution – Ummeed Aman Ghar in Mehrauli. More details are awaited, as these raids are on-going. Mr Mander is currently in Berlin, Germany at the invitation of the Robert Bosch Academy to join them for the prestigious Richard Von Weizsacker Fellowship,” they said.
“We condemn these raids to harass and intimidate a leading human rights and peace activist who has done nothing but work for peace and harmony, consistently upholding the highest moral standards of honesty and probity. Over the past year, Harsh Mander and the CES have been subjected to continued harassment by multiple state agencies,” they said.
The signatories said the “false and malicious allegations by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)” were “definitively countered by the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), a statutory body, which has filed a strong affidavit in the Delhi High Court, putting an end to the false allegations against CES”.
The NCPCR had alleged irregularities of many kinds in the children’s homes, including allegations of sexual abuse and taking the children to protest sites.
“CES has also been subjected to harassment by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), and the IT department. All these vindictive efforts combined, have shown neither diversion of money nor any violation of the law. The current raids by the ED and IT department are to be viewed in this context, as part of a continuing chain of abuse of state institutions to threaten, intimidate and try to silence every critic of the present government,” the signatories said.
“We stand with Harsh Mander and with each person associated with the Centre for Equity Studies. The Constitution of India and the law of the land shall prevail, exposing these intimidatory tactics exactly for what they are – an abuse of state institutions to try and curtail all our rights,” they said.
Here’s a list of most of the signatories
- Aruna Roy, MKSS
- Dr. Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission of India
- Prof Jean Dreze, Economist
- Prof. Apoorvanand, Teacher
- Indira Jaising, Senior Advocate
- Dr. V Suresh, PUCL, General Secretary
- Ravi Kiran Jain, President PUCL
- Henri Tiphagne, People’s Watch
- Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA General Secretary
- Mihir Desai, Senior Advocate and PUCL
- Teesta Setalvad, CJP
- Nav Sharan Singh, Independent Researcher
- Anuradha Talwar, PBKMS
- Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad
- Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW
- Farah Naqvi, Writer
- Avinash, Human Rights Worker
- Nikhil Dey, MKSS
- Shanker Singh, MKSS
- Purwa Bharadwaj, Writer and trainer, Independent
- Gauhar Raza, Film Maker
- Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, National Secretary
- Lara Jesani, PUCL, Maharashtra
- Nadeem Khan, UAH
- Brinelle D’Souza, Teacher
- Father Cedric Prakash, Human Rights Worker
(This list is being endorsed in order to get more signatures)
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