NEW DELHI — Calling it ‘brute show of intimidation’, concerned citizens on Thursday have condemned the raid on the offices and house of prominent lawyers and human rights activist Indira Jaising and Anand Grover.
The raids have been conducted in Nizamuddin, New Delhi on Thursday morning and are related to the case of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) violation.
All India Secular Forum (AISF) has issued a press statement to condemn the incident. The secular forum said that they are being harassed because of their relentless works for human rights.
“Both are celebrated senior lawyers who are also associated with Lawyers’ Collective. They are being harassed for their relentless work in the areas of human rights and promoting the rights of the marginalized- against atrocities against Dalits, for justice of victims of communal riots and women. The raids are used as an instrument of vendetta against voices of dissent as in the case of other activists and scholars who are similarly targeted,” reads the statement.
“AISF strongly condemns this witch hunting and repression against all those who stand for accountability, social justice, rule of law and enforcement of Constitutional values. AISF appeals to the State to cease this vindictive action,” the statement added.
Well-known human rights activist Ravi Nair has also issued a press statement which condemns the raids. He called the raids ‘brute show of intimidation’ and ‘gross abuse of power’.
“We, the undersigned individuals strongly condemn the raids at the homes and offices of senior advocates Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover this morning by the CBI. The raids are being carried out at both places Delhi and Mumbai. This, latest in a long line of coercion and intimidation of Ms Jaisingh and Mr Grover, is nothing short of a brute show of intimidation as well as a gross abuse of power,” reads the statement.
The statement points out that the raids have been conducted despite they have cooperated with the authorities in the cases filed against them. The cases were filed against their NGO ‘Lawyers Collective’ in June this year.
“Such actions by the Indian Government are contrary to its pledge at the UN Human Rights Council and its obligations and commitments under several international human rights treaties and declarations as well as values enshrined in the Constitution of India,” the statement further reads.
They have also demanded to stop such raids which aims to intimidate the activists and urged the government to withdraw the cases against them.
Here is the list of their demands:
We, as citizens strongly urge:
• Such acts of intimidation like the raids must stop immediately. The criminal charges against Lawyers Collective be immediately withdrawn pending the decision of the High Court of Bombay.
• Misuse of the country’s laws and the state machinery against human rights defenders be ceased.
• All acts of harassment against Mr. Anand Grover, Ms. Indira Jaising and other Officer bearers of Lawyers Collective as well as against all human rights defenders in India be put to an end.
• Human Rights Defenders in the country should be able to carry out their legitimate activities without hindrance.
• The National Human Rights Commission of India to take cognizance of this matter and take immediate actions under the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 (PHRA), including a review of the FCRA under Section 12 (d) of the PHRA.