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

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

RSS 'demonizing' Muslim demographics: Hindus' growth rate decline 2.5% lower

By Mohan Guruswamy*
The RSS is riding its old hobbyhorse again. Addressing the Yuva Dampati Sammelan attended by reportedly 2000 young couples organized by the RSS’ Kutumb Prabhodan in Agra on August 21, the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat, apparently concerned about the “declining Hindu population” exhorted young Hindu couples to have more children.

River interlinking to transfer tribals' drinking, irrigation water to Maharashtra industries

Counterview Desk
Top advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), recently submitted its comments on the Damanganga–Vaitarna-Godavari Intrastate Link project to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), a project sought to be packaged by the Maharashtra chief minister as diversion of water from allegedly water surplus Konkan region to the drought-affected Marathwada region.

Govt of India 'has no plan' to reduce energy, fossil fuel consumption, emissions

Counterview Desk
In his representation to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India on draft National Resource Efficiency Policy (NREP), 2019, top power policy analyst Shankar Sharma has insisted that there is imminent need to consider the economic activities at the national/international level very carefully from the perspective of climate change.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

Here's proof: Manual scavenging is rampant, Ahmedabad isn't open defecation free

By Parsottam Vaghela*
Authorities of Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat, may have gone into full swing in its cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat mission after the city was awarded the open defecation free plus (ODF+) certificate by the Union government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. However, my visit to some of the areas of the walled city of Ahmedabad on August 7 in order to ascertain whether it has become open defecation free suggested that the claim is a total humbug.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.