Activist Harsh Mander's office, residence raided by ED in Delhi
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday raided multiple locations linked to retired IAS officer and activist Harsh Mander in Delhi, reports say. The searches were connected to a money laundering probe based on a First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police in February this year. Here are more details on this.
The searches were carried out at Mander's residence in Vasant Kunj, his office at the Centre for Equity Studies in Adchini, as well as two children's homes run by his NGO. The operations began at 8 am, hours after Mander and his wife left for Germany. He has taken up a six-month fellowship at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.
"He has gone there to study how Germany understood its violent past," a source told Scroll. Meanwhile, Mander's daughter, Suroor Mander, and her husband are currently present at the Vasant Kunj residence as ED officials continue the searches.
In October 2020, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had raided two children's homes linked to Mander. It alleged children from these homes were taken to anti-citizenship law or anti-CAA protest sites. It also said that Mander's organization had received "hefty funds" that were used for illegal activities like religious conversion. He, however, had termed it an attempt to defame him.
In July, the NCPCR told the Delhi High Court that it recommended action against the two children's homes on the basis of the said allegations. That reply was submitted in response to a petition by the children's homes for quashing of inspection reports of the child rights body. The two children's homes are Umeed Aman Ghar (for boys) and Khushi Rainbow Home (for girls).
Today's action against Mander has been criticized by fellow activists and some politicians. "It is a part of the long harassment that Harsh Mander and his colleagues have been subjected to," said Apoorvanand, a professor at the Delhi University. Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also condemned the raids, calling Mander "one of the most conscientious and honest officers."