New Delhi: Activists on Thursday condemned the simultaneous raids by the ED and the IT department on the residential premises of human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, a former Gujarat IAS officer.
Two institutions run by him -- the Centre of Equity Studies and a children's shelter home, "Ummeed Amar Ghar," in Mehrauli area of South Delhi – were also raided.
A few hours before the swoop, Mander had boarded a flight for Germany; he is in Berlin on the invitation of the Robert Bosch Academy.
The activists decried the harassment and intimidation; they pointed out that Mander had worked for peace and harmony, consistently upholding high moral standards of honesty and probity.
They said over the past one year, the Centre of Equity Studies headed by him has been put in the pillory by multiple state agencies; one of these agencies, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, had even levelled allegations about sexual abuse in the children’s homes run by the activist.
The CES was also subjected to harassment by the Economic Offences Wing, it is further alleged.
"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," said the activists who included Aruna Roy, Prof. Jean Dreze, Indira Jaising, Prof. Apoorvanand, Shabnam Hashmi, writer Farah Naqvi, Nikhil Dey and film maker Gauhar Raza.
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