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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.