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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 5 February 3, 2024

Stop The Raids by State Agencies Against Harsh Mander - Citizens’s Statement (Feb 2, 2024)

Saturday 3 February 2024



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.

Signed by :

  • 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
    [. . . ] & others part of over 250 signatories
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