New Delhi: Five Enforcement Directorate (ED) employees, including a special director rank officer, have tested positive for COVID-19, following which the headquarters of the central probe agency have been sealed for 48 hours till Monday, officials said.
Out of the five, two are contract employees. The employees were found infected after the agency carried out section-wise testing at its headquarters in the wake of some COVID-19 cases being reported from other floors of the Lok Nayak Bhawan in Khan Market, where the ED office is located, the officials said on Saturday.
All the ED employees who were found infected with COVID-19 after "proactive testing" are asymptomatic, they said.
According to the officials, the employees who have tested positive include a special director rank officer and an investigating officer. All of them have been admitted to isolation facilities for treatment.
People who came in contact with them have been quarantined, they added.
As per procedure, the headquarters of the agency have been sealed for 48 hours and are expected to resume operations on Monday, the officials said.
The affected employees have not been coming to office since they tested positive, they said.
In order to check the spread of COVID-19, a protocol has been put in place for sanitising the ED headquarters twice a week and all documents. 'Daak' (post) is sanitised before it is handed over to officers and other staff of the agency, they added.
Last month, too, an ED employee had tested positive for COVID-19.
The ED is the federal agency that investigates money laundering, black money and hawala crimes under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.
Mumbai: Dhanya Rajendran, co-founder, and editor-in-chief of The News Minute, has been honored with the 2022 National RedInk Award for 'Journalist of the Year' by the Mumbai Press Club. She received this recognition for leading her team in exposing the tampering of voter data in Karnataka ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections. Independent journalist Sharad Vyas has also been awarded the 'Journalist of the Year.'
The Journalist of the Year Award, an accolade for outstanding journalism in 2022, is a key component of the Redink Awards for Excellence in Journalism, instituted by the Mumbai Press Club 12 years ago. Past recipients include prominent journalists like Srinivasan Jain of NDTV 24X7, Ravish Kumar of NDTV India, Raj Kamal Jha of Indian Express, Faye D’Souza of Mirror Now, and the late Danish Siddiqui of Reuters.
The Mumbai Press Club stated, “Dhanya led a team of journalists who did a series of investigations during the Karnataka elections that confirmed what had been suspected all along – that the election process in India is not always free and fair.”
In November 2022, Dhanya spearheaded The News Minute’s investigation into electoral data fraud in Karnataka, uncovering malpractices ahead of the 2023 elections. The investigation prompted the Election Commission to order a review of voter lists in three constituencies in Bengaluru and led to the arrest of Krishnappa Ravikumar, the director of Chilume, the NGO behind the voter data fraud. Subsequently, the local government prohibited private organizations from collecting voter data.
The Mumbai Press Club’s statement noted, “The investigation uncovered a working prototype of how the electioneering process can be tampered with and then illustrated it through one constituency in Bengaluru to show how voter data was being manipulated.”
Dhanya, with over 20 years of journalism experience, has covered significant and overlooked news stories from South India throughout her career. Her focus on women’s rights, child sexual abuse, politics and elections, climate disasters, and human rights has garnered attention for several important stories at a national level.
Co-recipient of the 'Journalist of the Year' award, Sharad Vyas, "unearthed and published how the Indian Government's Intelligence Bureau imported the spy software Pegasus from an Israeli company, which had been officially denied all along."
Veteran journalist, columnist, and author Neerja Chowdhury received the RedInk 'Lifetime Achievement' award "for her contribution of over four decades as a reporter and analyst of political affairs and government."
The awards ceremony took place at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai on Saturday, December 2, where the honors were presented by Swantatra Senani GG Parikh and former Additional Solicitor General of India Indira Jaising.