ED raids activist Harsh Mander’s home, Centre for Equity Studies and shelter home for boys run by him

Sources said ex-IAS officer and activist Harsh Mander and his wife left for Germany early on Thursday for a fellowship. Mander started Karwan-e-Mohabbat in 2017 to support survivors of hate crimes

Harsh Mander (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@Harsh_Mander)
Harsh Mander (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@Harsh_Mander)

Ashlin Mathew

Hours after retired Indian Administrative Service officer Harsh Mander left for Germany on a scholarship, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided his home in Vasant Kunj and the Centre for Equity Studies of which he is the director, and Ummeed Aman Ghar, a home for boys also run by him, reportedly to ‘inspect documents’.

When the ED officials reached Centre for Equity Studies (CES) located at Adhchini at 9 am, only the administrative staff was present there while and no one was there at Mander’s home. The accountant reached CES soon after the raid began.

Mander’s daughter and her family were at home when the officials reached, and the mobile phones of all those inside are switched off. Only the administrative staff was present at the boys home too when the ED officials reached, after which others were called.

Sources said the noted civil liberties activist and his wife left for Germany early on Thursday morning for a nine-month fellowship offered by the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.

"This is a continuation of harassment and coercion of CES and Harsh Mander for being an outspoken and passionate defender of human rights. CES has cooperated with every government agency by providing all organisational details requested by the agencies including balance sheets and other financial and programmatic documents," read the statement released by the Centre for Equity Studies.

Mander had started Karwan-e-Mohabbat, a civil society campaign in 2017, to support survivors of hate crimes.

Over the last several months, the organisation has been subjected to raids, investigations, and inquiries by different government agencies including Delhi police, and NCPCR.

In October 2020, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights had raided the two children’s homes - Ummeed Aman Ghar and Khushi Rainbow Home – that Mander was associated with. This raid was carried out after the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests began in the Capital. The activist had then said that this was the government’s latest attempt to use an institution to intimidate those who participated in the protests against CAA/NRC/NPR from December 2019 to March 2020.

Mander was also named in the Delhi Police’s chargesheets on the carnage in the capital in February 2020.

In February 2021, Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing registered a case against the two children’s homes and CES. The EOW had registered cases under sections of cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy. This was based on a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and another FIR was registered under sections of the Juvenile Justice Act against the two homes.

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