Skip to main content

Gujarat riots: Participants in Ahmedabad meet decry effort to harass human rights activist Teesta Setalvad

rotest against efforts to harass Setalvad outside the hall
By Our Representative
A meeting of survivors of the 2002 Gujarat riots and citizens, organised at the Mehdi Jung Hall Paldi, Ahmedabad, by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Ahmedabad, saw participants in the jam-packed hall calling for social boycott of those who are posing themselves as witnesses to the case filed against top human rights activist Teesta Setalvad in a Gujarat court for alleged misappropriation of the funds of the NGO she is heading for purposes other than fighting cases of riot victims.
Setelvad has been fighting cases of Gujarat riot victims, and is backing Zakia Jafri, wife of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who died during the attack on Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad. Jafri seeking court permission to file an FIR against chief minister Narendra Modi for inciting rioting, in which her husband was hacked to death. At the meet, several speakers said, two former employees of Citizens for Peace and Justice (CJP), who filed cases against Setalvad, should be face "social boycott", amidst a strong approving applause from the 1,000 strong crowd.
Sairabehn Sandhani addressing the meet
The case relates to alleged diversion of funds meant for building a riots museum at the Gulberg Society, which was the target of attack during the riots, leading to the death of 69 persons, for personal gains. Setalvad has denied the charges, has said the case is being built up at the behest of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in order to divert attention from the appeal in the Gujarat high court to file case against Modi. The appeal seeks seeks rejection of the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) team report, which has said there is "not enough evidence" to prove Modi was involved.
Among those who spoke included former BJP chief minister Sureshbhai Mehta, who called for caution instead of getting swayed by emotion in the fight for communal peace, former DGP RB Sreekumar, Jesuit human rights activist Cedric Prakash, social activist Sofia Khan, and a survivor of the Gulberg massacre, Sairabehn Sandhi. Sandhi, who had lost several of her relatives in the Gulberg Society massacre, said there was "no truth" in the allegations against Setelvad, levelled by the ex-employees, who were allegedly "bribed" to go against the top activist.
The jampacked hall
In a statement from Mumbai, Setelvad said, “The cost of the struggle for dignity, justice and reparation, personal and material, is high. Twelve years down our success rate is 117 life imprisonments in major 2002 carnage cases, monitored by the Supreme Court where witness  protection is still being given.”
She underlined, “In all cases (except the Bilqees Bano case in which 12 were convicted) CJP's team has been directly involved working with survivor eye witnesses, getting threatened and maligned. To top it all is the Zakia Jafri vs  Narendra Modi and Others case, now pending hearing in appeal in the Gujarat High Court.”
Setelvad recently got anticipatory bail from the Gujarat high court against her arrest in the misappropriation case. 

Comments

TRENDING

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Is sacrilege charge against Punjab Dalits any different from Pak blasphemy cases?

Lakhbir Singh, his wife By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  There is no doubt that Sikhism actually was a revolt against the Brahmanical system and superstition. Guru Granth Saheb is perhaps the only Holy Book which contains matters from different religions as well as those of various Sufi saints, including Kabir, Ravidas, Baba Farid and others. The aim of Sikhism was to create an egalitarian society, and, definitely, Punjab that way is far better than many other States in India, where violence against Dalits is rampant.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.

How are Tripura Muslims responsible for attacks in Bangladesh?: 'Concerned' citizens

Counterview Desk  Calling it a “retaliation” of Bangladesh violence, several “concerned citizens”*, including Magsaysay award winning social activist and academic Sandeep Pandey and PV Rajagopal of the Sarvodaya Samaj, have said that the recent attacks on Muslim community in different areas of Tripura is a the reflection of “growing trend of using violence against another community.”

Shabana Azmi joins Pak physicist Hoodbhoy to condemn B'desh anti-minority violence

By Our Representative  Several well-known South Asian activists and public figures of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Maldives have expressed “deep distress” by the spate of violence and killings in Bangladesh on the occasion of Durga Puja and Vijayadashami. “Attacks on minorities are a sign of injustice and a matter of shame for any society and bring a bad name to the Government”, they said in a joint statement.