Skip to main content

Teesta Setalvad case is part of emerging scenario of India's ruling govt "targeting" rights defenders

By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of people's organizations and NGOs across India, has demanded withdrawal of “false cases” against Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and their associates in the by now famous Gulbarg Society Case. Demanding “justice for riot victims and survivors and space and security for human rights defenders", the NAPM, in a strong statement, said, it is “deeply disturbing” that the Gujarat High Court has refused the anticipatory bail applications of rights activists Setalvad and others.
“We strongly feel that the High Court could have meticulously examined the extensive submissions put forth by Teesta, before rejecting the bail application, seeking dropping of charges. We also express our discontent with the sweeping observations (click HERE to read) made in the Order against social justice groups”, the NAPM, in a signed statement by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar and tens of others said.
“Although there is temporary respite with the intervention of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court today, it is a matter of extreme anxiety that ‘armed’ with the High Court’s order, the Gujarat police is keen to immediately arrest Setalvad and others for 'custodial interrogation',” the statement said.
“We hope the Supreme Court will appreciate the overall circumstances of the case, merits of the High Court’s order and observe as to whether at all there is any need for “custodial interrogation” of the bail applicants, at this stage of the legal process”, it pointed out.
The statement recalled, “It has been widely acknowledged that the Setalvad and other activists with the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and the Sabrang Trust withstood the might of the Gujarat state for more than 12 years and fearlessly stood with the victims and survivors of the gruesome riots, since 2002.” It said there is “constant political vendetta by the ruling party, at the behest of communal outfits in the state is no hidden secret.”
“NAPM is also worried at the increasing scenario of the present government targeting rights activists, by making unsubstantiated allegations of financial irregularities and demand a halt to this approach”, the statement said, adding, “We call upon all peace-loving citizens, people’s organizations and political parties to voice their protest and seek fairness and justice to the activists fighting relentlessly for the cause of Gujarat riot victims.”
The statement demanded “full justice and rehabilitation to the riot-survivors who are having for wait endlessly for years from a very ‘concerned state’, which does not see the need of vigilante groups.”

HC order "unfortunate": Cedric Prakash

It is separate statement, Father Cedric Prakash, a Gujarat-based human rights activist, has said it is “extremely unfortunate” that the anticipatory bail application filed by Setalvad, her husband Anand and three others of Gulberg Society – Tanvir Jafri, son of slain MP Ehsan Jafri, Feroz Gulzar, secretary and Salim Sandhi, chairman of the Gulberg Society -- has been rejected by the Gujarat High Court.”
Prakash, who is a trustee of Setalvad-led Citizens for Justice and Peace, said, “All are aware that the charges are extremely flimsy and fabricated and are surely politically motivated. In their response, Setalvad and the others provided the High Court with extensive, comprehensive and irrefutable evidence as to why they should be given anticipatory bail and the charges be dropped.”
“When those who stand up for truth and justice and are human rights defenders are subject to such blatant harassment, intimidation and even arrest, one surely needs to wonder where the country is heading?”, he asked, adding, “We are convinced however that truth and justice will ultimately triumph even if one has to struggle very hard in such a vicious environment.”
---
For point-by-point rebuttal of Gujarat police charges by Teesta Setalvad click HERE 

Comments

TRENDING

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.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Dalits 'celebrate' Constitutional Power Era in 12,500 villages of 16 districts on Nov 26

By Pradip More*  It is a fact that the majority of the people do not have much knowledge about the law, and especially the Constitution. Yet, today's younger generation is becoming increasingly aware of its rights. One wished it would have been good if it was taught about the Constitution well in the schools.

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

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".

'We are scared to even raise our voice': Delhi sewer workers tell roundtable

By Our Representative  A roundtable attended by more than 100 sewer workers in Delhi, saw sharp voices against the contract system, poor wages and lack of any social benefits. Organised by the Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), which has refused to reveal the identity of the sewer workers who spoke on the occasion for fear of retaliation from the authorities, saw workers complain that have been working for more than 10 years, hoping that someday they would be made permanent.

Govt of India's 'narrative' of hate, 'clarion call' for onslaught on civil society: Ex-babus

Counterview Desk  Addressing “fellow citizens”, the Constitution Conduct Group (CCG), having former prominent civil servants as it members, has said that recent assertions by National Human Rights Commission National Human Rights Commission Justice (retd) Arun Mishra, the Prime Minister and General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, portent a deliberate and disturbing strategy to “deny civil society the space and wherewithal for its operation.”

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”