Skip to main content

Gujarat govt had complained: Teesta met junior UN officials for "anti-India" propaganda abroad, used foreign funds

By Our Representative
Top social activist Teesta Setalvad has described the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order to cancel Foreign Currency Regulation Act (FCRA) license of her NGO Sabrang Trust as a clear case of vendetta. Setalvad, it is well-known, has been fighting 2002 Gujarat riots cases, including the Gulberg Society case, whose final verdict was pronounced on Friday.
Saying that the MHA move suggests “a very clear nexus” in which the Gujarat police has failed, in February 2015, to get her custody, as the Supreme Court stayed her arrest (February 12 and 19, 2015), Setalvad said, immediately thereafter the Gujarat home department wrote specifically to the MHA alleging “violations” by the Sabrang Trust.
“What began under Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi (January 2014 when the FIR was first lodged against Tanvir Jafri, Firoz Pathan, Salim Sandhi, Javed Anand and myself) has two years later become the ground for vindictive action against us (Javed Anand, Teesta Setalvad) under the MHA under Modi”, she said.
Pointing out that “this is critical to understand”, Setalvad said, “The deliberate attempt to embellish observations between the time the MHA team first came and the final notice is given is nothing short of a sinister vilification and defamatory campaign.”
Apart from referring to other “violations” regarding alleged misappropriation of funds by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, the Gujarat home department letter talked of how they “visited Pakistan, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, UK and USA and attended workshops, seminars and conferences where they deliberately portrayed India and Indian government in bad light.”
The letter said, they questioned the “secular credentials of the country, which is akin to foreign governments/NGOs and building opinions against the Indian government, seeking foreign help in the matter which are under active consideration of various courts, including the honourable apex court.”
The letter further said they had meetings with “even junior officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)” -- all this, it believes, amounts to “promoting anti-India propaganda on foreign lands and international fora”.
The Gujarat home department said all this even as blaming Ford Foundation for funding Setalvad and Anand for their “anti-India” activities, even as seeking Government of India review of the top US-based philanthropic organisation. Interestingly, ahead of the recent Modi visit to US, it was conveyed to the Ford Foundation that all restrictions placed on it on foreign funding were removed.
Other accusations in the letter, repeated in nearly all earlier probes, included Javed Anand and Teesta Setalvad being co-editors of “Communalism Combat” magazine, published by Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd (SCPPL), which was allegedly funded by Sabrang Trust, which in turn received foreign funds. They were also accused of “writing for other periodicals and newspapers, utilizing funds for personal gains, and so on.”
In her reply, Setalvad has variously said that Sabrang Trust and SCPPL are two separate entitiies, and that the publication was registered under PRB Act, 1867, and they have full right to work as correspondent, columnist, editor, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper.
“It is Sabrang Trust, the association granted registration under FCRA, which is prohibited from publishing or acting as correspondent, columnist, editor, etc. Nowhere does the letter place any restriction or prohibition on any of its board members or office bearers being publishers, editors, printers, etc. of a registered newspaper run by some other independent legal entity”, she points out at one place.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.