Skip to main content

Stop harassing human rights defender Teesta Setalvad: Prominent Gujarat citizens to Govt of India, CBI

By Our Representative
Even as the news came in from Delhi that the Gujarat police has “opposed” anticipatory bail application in Supreme Court by top  activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, about two dozen prominent citizens of Gujarat have expressed their “profound dismay and disquiet” at the “continued official harassment” of human rights defender.
The Gujarat police in its affidavit said its probe “supported” the evidence that the amount meant for “the rehabilitation and welfare of the unfortunate victims of riots in Gujarat in 2002” was spent on having dates, consumption of wine, whiskey and rum, purchase of movie CDs of Singham, Jodha Akbar and PAA, buy several pairs of spectacles, wining and dining at some of the best restaurants and fast food outlets of Mumbai.
Even as pointing out that the veracity of the charges will be “decided in the country’s courts”, the statement by 24 politicians, intellectuals and activists said, “The open official bullying of courageous human rights defenders even as persons charged with a range of serious crimes walk free, are brazen official attempts to diminish Indian democracy.”
Pointing out that “bullying” has been going on ever since the BJP led government came to power in India in May 2014, it said, the effort is to “tarnish their reputations and secure their arrests”.
It added, “Fortunately, the interventions of the higher judiciary have protected them so far. However, the latest raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into their home and offices in Mumbai on July 14, 2015 are signs of continuing open misuse of official bodies to harass these human rights defenders.”
The statement reiterated how Setalvad and Anand have fought an “unrelenting battle” not only to bring to book criminals who committed gruesome hate crimes against Muslims in the carnage of 2002, but also to “expose” the role of the Gujarat government in enabling, abetting and even organizing these crimes.
“They have been fearless in charging the then Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, who is currently the country’s Prime Minister, with direct criminal culpability for these crimes. For this, they have assisted the widow of a former MP, who was slaughtered in the carnage, Zakia Jafri, to fight a brave court battle”, it said.
“What we are witnessing is crude and defiant misuse of official bodies to beat down these human rights defenders so as to silence their voices, break their morale and divert them from their unrelenting battles in defence of justice which charge the country’s current leadership with complicity in hate crimes”, the statement said.
Urging the Government of India and the CBI “to desist from employing such deplorable tactics which are inspired by nothing but malice and revenge”, it added, they “should know that democratic forces and the human rights movement in the country stand in support of both Setalvad and Javed.”
Among those who have signed the statement include Suresh Meha, ex-chief minister of Gujarat; Girish Patel, a senior advocate; Fr. Cedric Prakash of Prashant; Prof JS Bandukwala, a human rights activist, Vadodara; Harinesh Pandya of Janpath; Ikram Mirza of Jamate Islame Hind; Pankti Jog of Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel; Dinesh Rabari of Maldhari Vikas Sangathan, among others.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.