WE CONDEMN THE RAIDS BY THE ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE ON THE OFFICES AND PRIVATE HOME OF ONE OF INDIA’S LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS & PEACE ACTIVISTS, HARSH MANDER
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. The Robert Bosch Academy, founded in 2014 as an institution of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, offers international decision-makers, opinion leaders, and experts the opportunity for solution-oriented cooperation on issues of global relevance.
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. 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.
CES has also been subjected to harassment by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), and the IT department. All these vindictive efforts combined, have showed 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.
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.
Aruna Roy, MKSS
Dr. Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission of India