A day after leveling serious charges against his additional secretary BK Prasad, a Union home ministry under secretary on Wednesday went missing from his residence in Ghaziabad leaving a letter for his wife in which he claimed of facing ‘metal harassment’.
The CBI has opened a probe against Anand Joshi, the under secretary in question after the home ministry made a complaint to the agency.
The CBI had asked Joshi to appear before agency investigators for examination on Wednesday.
The CBI has alleged that Joshi as an under secretary in the home ministry foreigners division, that deals with cases of foreign funding, arbitrarily sent notices to NGOs claiming violation of funding norms.
But Joshi on counter-attacked on Tuesday.
Joshi claimed to HT that he was pressurised by Prasad to remove the US-based donor agency Ford Foundation from prior permission category.
The foundation was put under prior permission category by the home ministry earlier in which all funding coming from the agency were to be vetted by the home ministry before being released to the intended NGOs but later the ministry removed the restriction as it fulfilled the conditions provided by the government in this regard.
“But the foundation was asked to get itself registered under the Foreign Exchange Management Act which is bringing foreign exchange in the country. The government should ask it to get itself registered under the FCRA which governs funding of the NGOs. I raised questions about it in writing. I am being hounded for doing my duty,”Joshi said on Tuesday.
Joshi also denied seeking any bribe from any NGO.
“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,” said Joshi.
Joshi’s wife Minakshi said her husband was last seen at 2am after which he went to sleep. But in the morning he was not seen in the house.
In the Hindi letter addressing his wife, Joshi said, “I have been going through extremely high mental harassment for the past few months but now the situation has got out of hand...At this moment I need peace and that is not possible here. I am leaving home and please do not look for me. You (Minakshi) are now both a father and a mother to our children.”
He added in the last that while serving my nation, he had probably made too many enemies.
Senior home ministry official said Joshi came under the radar after he issued more 50 notices to NGOs in November last year. He transferred out of the foreigners division in December and later a file with regard to activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGOs , which are being probed by the ministry for violation of funding norms, was recovered at his instance and a departmental inquiry was also initiated against him.