Human Rights Activist and former IAS officer, Harsh Mander’s home and offices were raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, September 16. The raids reportedly took place, just hours after Mander left for Germany along with his wife, for a fellowship at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He is the director of the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) whose offices in Adhchini are being raided along with the Manders’ Vasant Kunj residence and a Mehrauli based Children’s Home that he is associated with.
According to a report in The Tribune, the ED has “registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR registered by the Delhi Police against Mander and an NGO, Equity Studies”. It was reported that when the raids began early in the morning, no one was at Mander’s house.
Last year, Harsh Mander, had also been put under the scanner by the Delhi Police, as they suspected he was a part of the ‘conspiracy’, they believe was birthed during the anti-CAA protests, and this incited North East Delhi’s communal violence. Mander has often said this was the Police’s attempt to “criminalise, punish and crush ” one of the largest non-violent movements in Independent India, that the anti-CAA protests became. Clips of Mander’s speech outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU) were used to accuse him of ‘denigrating the Supreme Court of India and inciting violence’. A case was filed against him with the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, presenting clipped versions of his speech to the SC.
In solidarity with @harsh_mander and everyone else being targeted by the state for expressing dissent.
For working with the people and staying true to the Constitution of India ??
— Karwan e Mohabbat (Caravan of Love) (@karwanemohabbat) September 16, 2021
Once again, an insecure state goes after those whose words it can’t stomach- the words of people like @harsh_mander who speak for the most disenfranchised of us all, who speak for equality and justice and the secular values of our constitution. #rights https://t.co/Y35KL3ksNw
— Maya Mirchandani ?? (@maya206) September 16, 2021
Robert Bosch Academy website describes Mander as “a human rights and peace activist, writer, and lecturer.” He is well known as a human rights defender, and has worked extensively on campaigns for the displaced, labourers, and traveled across the country as a peace activist initiating dialogues on “secularism, peace, reconciliation and legal justice.” He an author, who received multiple accolades for his human rights work, describes himself simply as a :Human rights and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher and teacher, works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children”
This is a developing story and will be updated when more details are available.