New Delhi : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on friday raided house and office of social activist Harsh Mander in Delhi. The raids are connected with the money laundering probe based on a FIR filed by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police in February this year.
Mr Mander’s home (in Vasant Kunj) and his office at the Centre for Equity Studies (in Adchini) were raided simultaneously, as were two children homes run by his NGO.
The Delhi Police filed FIR as per the instruction of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has alleged financial irregularities connected to the two children homes – Umeed Aman Ghar (for boys) and Khushi Rainbow Home (for girls) – in Delhi’s Mehrauli.
The Enforcement Directorate – which investigates large-scale financial crimes – is acting on this FIR by Delhi Police, which invoked charges like cheating, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.
Mander had called the allegation ‘completely unjustified’, “I think it is completely unjustified. We created a very strong system, like we had elder women (caretakers) sleeping with smaller children and we have counselling. It is just an allegation and a rumour,” he had said.
The raids have triggered criticism, several activist and public intellectual condemned the move by ED calling it a part of “continuing chain of abuse of state institutions” to silence its critics. 29 people are said to have signed the statement. Names 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.
“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”.
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