Over 250 citizens condemn “vindictive witch hunt” of Dr. Harsh Mander by Indian State agencies


  • February 3, 2024
  • (0 Comments)
  • 713 Views

Groundxero | 3rd February, 2024

 

In a press statement, released on 2nd February, 2024, over 250 activists, academicians, lawyers, and concerned citizens expressed solidarity with rights activist and former IAS officer Harsh Mander and condemned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s raids at his home and his office as being part of a “vindictive witch hunt”.

 

The CBI on Friday had raided and searched two premises linked to former IAS officer and social activist Harsh Mander, in a case of alleged Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violation involving a non-government organisation, Centre for Equity Studies (CES).

 

Last year, on April 13, CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry on a complaint from the Home Ministry against the Centre for Equity Studies, Aman Biradari Trust, Oxfam India and Action Aid Association over alleged FCRA violations. The Home Ministry had suspended CES’ FCRA certification on June 14 last year for six months.

 

Reacting to the CBI action, noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan said on X, “CBI is raiding Harsh Mander’s house and office. He has been one of the most gentle, humane & generous activists who have worked tirelessly for the weak and poor. He is being targeted only because he has been critical of this government. All agencies are being blatantly used to target critics.”

 

The signatories said that the CBI raid is a part of the long chain of harassment of Dr. Harsh Mander, his colleagues, his family and former and present board members of the Centre for Equity Studies. The press statement added that since 2020 multiple investigating agencies of the Government including Delhi Police’s Economic offences wing, Income Tax (IT) authorities, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and now the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) have been investigating Harsh Mander and CES but in not a single case has a chargesheet been presented in a court of law.

 

The statement said that such egregious attacks on Harsh Mander and the CES are an attack on all of civil society in India and all those who work to promote constitutional values. The signatories demanded the closure of all investigations including the CBI FIR against Harsh Mander, his colleagues and the CES.

 

The statement of solidarity and the list of signatories are reproduced in full below.

 

Press statement

2nd February, 2024

 

Over 250 citizens condemn the harassment by Indian State agencies of Dr. Harsh Mander, Director Centre for Equity studies, New Delhi

Demand closure of the FIR filed by the CBI and all other investigations underway

 

We the undersigned unequivocally condemn the continued victimisation and intimidation of Dr. Harsh Mander. We are deeply disturbed by the raid on the morning of 2nd February, 2024 at the residence of Dr. Harsh Mander and ongoing raid on the Centre for Equity Studies, the organisation founded by Dr. Harsh Mander.

 

Harsh Mander is a widely respected and internationally acclaimed human rights activist who has taken up issues of those most oppressed.

 

Today’s raid is a part of the long chain of harassment of Dr. Harsh Mander, his colleagues, his family and former and present board members of the Centre for Equity Studies. It is important to know that since 2020 multiple investigating agencies of the Government including National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Delhi Police’s Economic offences wing, Income Tax (IT) authorities, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and now the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) have been carrying out what can only be described as a vindictive witch hunt. In not a single case has a chargesheet been presented in a court of law.

 

These egregious attacks on Harsh Mander and the CES are an attack on all of civil society in India and all those who work to promote constitutional values.

 

It is clear from the FIR No. RC2202024 E0002/EO II/N.D. under sections 35 r/w 7,8,12(4) (a) (vi) and section 39 of FCRA Act 2010 invoked by the CBI, that the charges being brought under Mr Mander are entirely fabricated and without any material basis.

 

We demand the closure of all investigations including the CBI FIR against Harsh Mander, his colleagues and the CES.

 

Speaking on the raids, Dr. Mander said that he was further strengthened in his resolve and added that “my life, my writings and my work are my only response”.

 

We stand in solidarity with Dr. Mander, in his determined resolve to preserve the principles and values of constitutional India.

 

Kavita Srivastava, President PUCL
V Suresh, General, Secretary, PUCL
Aruna Roy, MKSS, Rajasthan and President NFIW
Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Rajasthan
Dr. Syeda S. Hameed, Writer and former member of the Planning Commission of India Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW
Apoorvanand, Writer and columnist, Delhi
Farah Naqvi, Writer and researcher, Delhi
Kavita Krishnan, Columnist and public intellectual
Jean Dreze, Economist and Concerned Citizen
Medha Patkar, Co-convenor NAPM, national working group
Admiral L Ramdas, Peace activist and chief of the navy staff
Lalita Ramdas, Peace activist and educationist
Komal Srivastava, President, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, BGVS
Asha Mishra, BGVS
Meera Sanghamitra, Co-convenor NAPM, national working group
Sandeep Pandey, General Secretary Socialist Party and Academic
Arundhati Dhuru, Co-convenor NAPM, national working group
Gabriele Dietrich, Advisor NAPM
Anuradha Talwar, Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samiti, PBKMS
Dr. Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti
Siraj Datta, Loktantra Bachao Abhiyan, Jharkhand
Ashish Ranjan, Jan Jagaran Shakti Sangathan, Bihar
Kamayani, Jan Jagaran Shakti Sangathan, Bihar
Vinay Sreenivasa, Bahutva Karnataka
Arvind Narrain, President, PUCL Karnataka
Mihir Desai, Vice President, PUCL
Suneetha, ALIFA
Prof. Rahul Mukherjee, HOD, Political Science Department, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg
Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad, Delhi
Gauhar Raza, Scientist and Poet, Delhi
Pamela Philipose, Senior journalist
Achin Vanaik, Political Thinker and Writer
Aishwarya R PUCL
Khushi Sharma Pucl
Ashutosh Meena PUCL
Naman Sharma PUCL
Lavanya methi PUCL
Raghav Gupta PUCL
Darshan Jain PUCL
Tanisha Meena PUCL
Padmaja Shaw Rtd Faculty, Osmania University
Aryan Krishnia PUCL
Uma Shankari Citizen of India
Priyanshi None
Prakriti Right to Food Campaign
Taufique Nadim PUCL
Hiren Gandhi Darshan
Kailash Mina Napm Rajasthan
David solomon SJ
Mamta Jaitly Vividha Raj Shekhar Right to Food Campaign
Khalida parveen Activist
Kaneez Fathima Civil Rights Activist
Shakuntala Rajsamand Mahila manch
Y Krishna Jyothi South First
Rajendran Narayanan Azim Premji University, Bangalore
Saeed Self
Shalini Gera Lawyer, Chhattisgarh High Court
Rohit Prajapati Environment Activist, Gujarat
Tapojay Mukherjee Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity
Mandakini Advocate
Siraj Dutta Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha
Vasantha Activist
Sitara bano Pucl
Syed feroz Nirsraya shramika sanghtan
Adv Dr Shalu Nigam Independent Researcher
Maanik Mahna All India Professionals Congress
Natasha Badhwar Writer, Film-maker
Ashish Reddy Advocate
Navin Individual
B B Choudhary Samajwadi Jan Parishad
Sitara bano Pucl
Nisha Biswas Activist
Smita Gupta Independent Economist and Activist
Ramnarayan Individual Citizen
Chirayu Jain Advocate, Delhi High Court
Farooq Hussain Ideal information center for disabled
Swati Narayan Activist, Right to Food Campaign
Ambika yadav Jharkhand kisan parishad
Aditya Shrivastava German Chancellor Fellow
Annie Namala Social Activist
Somnath Ghosh Retired Professor
Sheba George Social Worker
Dr. Anjor Bhaskar Teacher
Vijay lakshmi Joshi PUCL and ViViDHA
Sruti Bala
International Solidarity for Academic
Freedom in India
Prof Meena Dhanda Visiting Professor, LSE
Syed Majid Shuttari TPU
Mohammed Iqbal Journalist
Ayswarya Murthy Journalist
Prasad Chacko PUCL, Gujarat Rajender Mohan Kashyap People’s Union for Civil Liberty’s
VS Krishna Human Rights Forum
Maqbool Saleem Citizen
Dr Sanjay Mangala Gopal
National Alliance of Peoples
Movements (NAPM)
Bhanwar Meghwanshi Pucl
Arun VIRASAM.
Elina Horo Adivasi Women’s Network
Sunil Kaul Co-traveller
Vandita Morarka One Future Collective
Shambhavi Sharma COLLECTIVE Delhi
Nandini Sundar Sociologist
Gova rathod PUCL Gujarat
Prateek Pankaj Heidelberg University
Mathew Cherian Writer and Author
Chayanika Shah
Member, Forum Against Oppression of
Women
Satya Oza PhD Student
R Sudarshan A free Lancer
Hana Vahab
Independent journalist/Researcher,
Delhi
Amita V joseph Advocate
Jarjum Ete AIUFWP
M. R. Nandan Retired teacher
Indira Unninayar
Advocate – Supreme Court & Delhi High
Court
Sukriti Chaudhary PUCL
Mridula Sudarshan A Free Lancer
Dr Tony Bagaicha
Gangadhar M Democratic Teachers Federation
K.Ravi Chander Forum Against Repression, Telangana
Apurva NREGA Sangharsh Morcha
Navdeep Mathur Faculty, Ahmedabad
Mujahid PUCL
Roma AIUFWP
Anandvardhan Yagnik Advocate, Gujarat High Court
Dr Samhita Barooah
Social work educator and freelance
writer
Dev Desai ANHAD
Dr Samhita Barooah Tezpur University
Krishnakant Chauhan PUCL, Surat
Kranthi Kiran Individual
Joy sengupta Theatre & Cinema. Narbinder Singh
Association for Democratic Rights,
Punjab
Seshappa M N Rtd person
Amrita Chhachhi Academic
Srishti Award-winning journalist
Sejal Dand Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan
Ananth Krishnan Jayadas PUCL
Janhwi singh PUCL
Arundhati Dhuru NAPM
Mridul Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Manorama Sharma
Retd. Professor, NEHU, Shillong and
social activist of Sustha Samaj Bikash
Chakra, Guwahati
Aninthitha Nath Ashoka University – Teaching Fellow
Soumya Dutta Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
Maimoona Mollah AIDWA Delhi
Sanjhana TISS
Usman Jawed Independent researcher
Shadan Farasat Advocate Supreme Court
Hasina Khan Bebaak Collective
Frazer Mascarenhas Jesuit order
Purvi Vyas Independent consultant
Fatema Chappalwala Sambhaavnaa Institute
Arundati Designer
Ashok Sharma IFS (Retd.)
Nirmala Tammineni Independent social worker
Jyothi Gaddam Nintagri
Naresh Chandra Saxena retired government servant
Dr. Joseph Xavier IDEAS MADURAI
छीतर मल चौधरी सूचना एवं रोजगार अभियान
Jawhar Sircar Member of Parliament
Ritwij Kumar RTF Campaign Bihar
Gita Rani Bhattacharya
Independent Gender and development
activities
prita jha peace and equality cell
N.D.Jayaprakash Delhi Science Forum
Sushila ENSM
Raju Sharma Retired
Radha Kumar Writer and policy analyst
Saito Basumatary Advocate
Tanvir Ahmad Retired
Dinesh abrol Delhi Science Forum Subham Biswas Suchna Evam Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan
Meena Gupta Individual. Retired civil servant
Amanulla Khan
All India Insurance Employees’
Association
Soma Marla Free individual
Amulya K Tripathy Former Professor pol.sc
Lalita Ramdas LARA
Aditya Nigam Independent academic
Avinash Kumar Faculty, JNU
A V Subrahmanyam Left symthesiser
A.Suneetha Independent researcher
Gautam Mody NTUI
Dr. Soma Marla Scientist
Muniza Khan Gandhian Institute of studies
Arundhati Individual
Koninika Ray National Federation of Indian Women
Dr Shakeel
Indian Doctors for Peace and
Development
Nabam kafting None
Shabnam Vishakha
Vrati Kumar PUCL
Aditi Mehta IAS Retd
UDAY KUMAR RAY DRISTI SAGAR SEWA SANSTHAN
Vinoo Hora NFIW
Ajay singh mehta Citizen
Amita Buch Individual
Cedric Prakash
Human Rights and Peace Activist/
Writer
Deb Mukharji member Constitutional Conduct Group
Nivedita Menon JNU Delhi
Shafiq Rtd
Neeta Hardikar Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan
Radhika Desai Independent Researcher/Consultant
Poonam kaushik ,General
Secy Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan Delhi
Harsh Yadav Individual
Rashmi Dhanwani Arts Manager and Researcher
Admiral L Ramdas Former Chief of the Naval Staff
Snehal Shah Independent
Saba –
Shashi Unaffiliated
Biswaroop Chatterjee Medical College, Kolkata Cheryl Dsouza Advocate
Mariam Dhawale
All India Democratic Women’s
Association
Vivek Sharma Lawyer
Preeti Oza None
Lata Singh RIHR
Ria Yadav Advocate
Rohan D’Souza Kyoto university
Jacob Antony Retired Principal Secretary
Khalil ur Rehaman NAJAR (NAPM)
George Thomas Medical practitioner
Jennifer Liang Development Activist
Dr SUDHIR AGRAWAL SAMAGRA VIKAS PARTY
Subodh Lal Constotutional Conduct Group
Ghalib khan Social Activist
Pyoli Advocate
Ramesh Dixit
Samvidhan Bachao Desh Bachao
Abhiyan Uttar Pradesh Lucknow
Pushpendra PUCL Bihar
Maya John Centre for Struggling Women (CSW)
Mridula Mukherjee JNU (retired)
ASM Mostafizur Rahman
South Asia Institute, Heidelberg
University, German
Avay Shukla Retired
Teena sharma Suchna or rojgar abhiyan
Aditya Mukherjee JNU (retired)
Dr. Basavi Kiro Indigenous women India Network
Alena National workers welfare trust
Bela Bhatia Human-rights lawyer and writer
Rusham
National Alliance of People’s
Movements
Suchintan Das University of Oxford
Ashish Ranjan NAPM
Prof Santosh Mehrotra University of Bath
Goulungmon Law students
Kavin Castro M Advocate based in Chennai
Raza Haider Poet & Filmmaker
Ranesh Ray Architect Designer
Apurba kumar Baruah
Assam Institute of Mass Communication
and Media Research
Rukhsana Choudhury Advocate
Beena Pallical
National Campaign on Dalit Human
Rights Yes S.A.Kadri
RTD. banking industry trade union
leader
Sanjay Kaul IAS retd.
Hemantkumar Shah Former Principal, HK Arts College
Lata Bhise Sonawane
National Federation of Indian
WomenNFIW
Shabnam Hashmi Anhad
Varsha Gandikota
General Coordinator, Progressive
International
Amitabha Pande Retired civil servant
Gauhar Raza Individual
Bhavna Sharma Social Activist
Prasad Subramaniam FSMM
Balram RTFC ,Jharkhand
Amala Dasarathi Advocate
Ayesha Kidwai Jawaharlal Nehru University
Roshni Mumbai
Raghavan Rangarajan Professor

 

 

 

Share this
Leave a Comment