Teesta Setalvad files: MHA official accused of stealing documents goes missing
After the CBI recovered the stolen files from Home Ministry official Anand Joshi, the concerned official has apparently gone missing.
The storm over the Teesta Setalvad files does not seem to ebb anytime soon. After the CBI recovered the stolen files from Home Ministry official Anand Joshi, the concerned official has apparently gone missing, just before he was to be investigated on Wednesday.
The Hindu reported that the official under the scanner has left a letter addressed to his wife, Minakshi Sharma, in which he has claimed "mental harrassment", and as having made too many "enemies".
A Times of India report claims that his superior, Additional Secretary BK Prasad, pressurised him to give clean chits to some NGOs, including Ford Foundation, which were served notices for alleged foreign exchange violations.
"When I woke up around 7.30 am on Wednesday, the main door was ajar and he wasn't there. I later found the note," The Times of India report quoted his wife as saying.
Interestingly, The Hindu further states that Joshi took to Facebook on 3 May to implicitly suggest his troubles, with a quote attributed to Chandra Shekhar Azad, “Who has the courage to besiege the brave, at times of crises even a lion may be cornered by dogs.”
Joshi has repeatedly claimed innocence on allegations of corruption. The embattled official was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying, “Some insignificant files may have recovered from house but they were irrelevant. I can explain recovery of money from house as well. I am an honest person who is being victimised for not toeing the line of my superior,” He has also denied taking any bribe or favouring or blackmailing any NGO.
According to earlier media reports, Undersecretary Anand Joshi, who was posted in the foreigners division of the home ministry, was accused of stealing files related to several NGOs that were under the radar for violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA). Prominent among them were the files relating to the Sabrang Trust, founded by noted activist and PM Modi bete noire Teesta Setalvad. The CBI later recovered the files from his home in Ghaziabad along with cash and some other sensitive documents.
Meghalaya MP Agatha Sangma said in a letter to Amit Shah that the case appears to be an ‘orchestrated homicide, which requires investigation of highest order’
The direction came after the apex court said it was shocking that its 2015 judgment, which struck down a section making ‘offensive’ comments online punishable, has not been implemented