Skip to main content

Fight for 2002 Gujarat riot victims, others "main reason" behind human rights leader's bail plea rejection: CJP

By Our Representative
The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), Mumbai-based human rights organization run by prominent social activist Teesta Setelvad, has suggested that the refusal of the Ahmedabad sessions court to grant her bail in a Rs 1.4 crore embezzlement case, is linked with her recent fight for justice in "courts and beyond", in cases ranging from those related with the 2002 Gujarat riots to the campaign to free "innocent" Dalit activists like Chandreshekhar Azad, who is in a UP jail.
Close on the heels of the Ahmedabad court judgment, CJP said, the organization will "appeal the Naroda Patiya judgement, carry the Zakia Jafri case forward, fight in the courts against the false cases on Adivasi forest dwellers claiming land and protesting it being snatched away, and will continue our campaign to free innocent Dalit Activists like Chandreshekhar Azad."
In the Naroda Patiya case, worst of all Gujarat riots of 2002 in which 97 persons were killed, an ex-minister in the Gujarat government, Maya Kodnani was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court, the Zakia Jafri case relates to challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi's innocence in 2002 riots case. Jafri's husband, an ex-Congress MP, was one of the 69 killed during the riots in yet another high profile case fought by Setalvad -- Gulbarg Society.
Calling the sessions court order result of an "attack from a vindictive state", CJP said, she and her husband, Javed Anand, are victims of "their relentless attempt to silence and incarcerate fearless human rights defenders. They have exposed the criminal activities of a section of the Gujarat police and of powerful politicians during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat." Anand's bail plea was rejected along with that of Setalvad.
The statement regretted, "Even after the Bombay High Court granted them transit bail and the Supreme Court extended protection until May 31 for a completely false case accusing them of fund embezzlement, their application for anticipatory bail was rejected by the sessions court. This poses a serious threat to their life and liberty."
Rejecting the bail petition, the court observed, “No discretionary relief at this juncture can be granted. If the application is allowed, then the faith of the public in administration of justice is likely to be shaken. Looking to the several factors pertaining to the applicants-accused, like larger interest of the public and society, it would lead to the conclusion that the application is required to be rejected.”
Meanwhile, Setalvad and Anand, her husband, have challenged the order in the Gujarat High Court.
The matter pertains to a case against Setalvad and Anand where it is alleged that thry used fraudulent means to obtain funds for the Mumbai-based education NGO Khoj under the Government of India's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and then misappropriated them. The Khoj project began in 2010 and got over before January 2014 when the bank accounts were frozen due to another case based on allegations made against Setalvad and Anand by an ex-CJP employee.
According to CJP, "The only evidence of alleged embezzlement is in the bank accounts. If the accounts in question are frozen, how exactly can Setalvad tamper with evidence? This is just a ploy to get police custody. Normally custodial interrogation is not required in cases such as this. Therefore, there is a very real possibility of misuse of this custody to use coercive tactics like torture and intimidation."
It added, "Setalvad and Anand, both office bearers of CJP, have been targeted multiple times since 2014. Setalvad has had to seek anticipatory bail to avoid custodial torture nine times. This has not stopped them from pursuing a passionate and rigorous human rights agenda. CJP will continue to provide legal aid to the survivors of the Gujarat 2002 genocide."
The Khoj case was filed by Rais Khan, a former employee of CJP, who has since been nominated to the Central Waqf Council. "Lawyers who have appeared for Khan include those who are on the rolls of the Gujarat state and government. In this case, too, Khan first tried to goad the CBI and the Ministry of Human Resources Department, Government of India, into launching this witch hunt but when that did not work, went to his preferred forum, the Crime Branch, Ahmedabad", said CJP.

Comments

TRENDING

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”