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Gujarat police "dubiously acquired" personal bank details, is seeking to divert attention from its role in riots

By Our Representative
The Citizens for Peace and Justice (CJP), the NGO fighting cases of 2002 Gujarat communal riot victims, has accused the Gujarat police for spreading “blatant falsehoods, twisted facts, deliberate jugglery of accounts and foul innuendos” in an attempt to implicate it in a fraud case. In a statement, the CJP said, the affidavit filed by KN Patel on behalf of the crime branch on March 18, 2014 that the CJP and social activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand have been siphoning off Rs 75,28,000 belonging to the CJP and Sabrang Trust for personal use is based on “falsehoods, twisted facts, deliberate jugglery”.
In a counter-affidavit filed in the Sessions Court in Ahmedabad on March 21, 2014, Setalvad, secretary, CJP, has accused the Gujarat police of “dubiously” acquiring information of the CJP’s and Sabrang Trust’s “audited accounts, bank accounts (organizational and personal) and personal credit card bills”. The statement said, “All of these have been obtained through highly questionable means, which itself is a subject for investigation.”
“The Gujarat police have claimed that a host of expenses of a purely personal nature incurred through the personal credit card bills of Setalvad and Anand were paid by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and Sabrang Trust. The police cannot but know that this is a lie. All it needed to do to know the facts of the case was to tally the total expenses as shown in the credit card bills with the amounts ‘reimbursed’ to them by the two trusts”, the statement says.
Accusing the police of “deliberately manipulated credit card details from the personal accounts of both”, the statement says, “Neither CJP nor Sabrang Trust has any debit/credit cards in their names. For logistical convenience, with the full knowledge and consent of the trustees and auditors of the two trusts, air and train tickets are frequently booked online (using the personal credit cards of Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand). It is only such expenses strictly related to the legitimate activities which are reimbursed by Sabrang Trust and CJP”.
The statement said, “Despite being fully aware of this fact, the Gujarat police have claimed that a host of personal expenses, including hair-cuts, purchase of grocery, shoes, jewellery etc. have been paid for by the trusts.” It added, the Gujarat police also claimed that “funds from the bank accounts of CJP and Sabrang Trust running into lakhs have been transferred into fixed deposits in the family personal names of Setalvad and Anand”, challenging the Gujarat police to provide evidence of even a single rupee “thus transferred”.
The statement says, the Gujarat police has been functioning “in nexus with one family of the Gulberg society and a former employee of CJP cited as ‘witness’ in the specious FIR.” It is “functioning at the behest of the political bigwigs in the state who are seriously affected by the persistent struggle for justice aided by CJP.” It gives “false figure” of spending only Rs 2.49 lakh as legal aid expenses. “We challenge the Gujarat police to provide proof of this. CJP has spent over Rs 2 crore on legal aid to the victims-survivors of the state-sponsored Gujarat pogrom.”
“The campaign launched by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch against the CJP and its trustees is aimed at crippling the struggle for justice and at maligning and defaming honest, hard working activists in the public domain”, the statement says, adding, CJP believes that strong action needs to be launched against the falsehoods made on oath as also the coercively manner in which accounting details were obtained.”

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