Sunday, December 3, 2023

Roughed up by Gujarat ATS, part of elaborate witch-hunt: CJP defends Teesta Setalvad

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Citizens for Justice and Peace, a Mumbai-based Human rights group, on Saturday alleged that its secretary Teesta Setalvad was roughed up as she was picked up from her Mumbai home by a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Setalvad has filed a handwritten complaint with the Santacruz Police Station saying Police Inspector JH Patel of the ATS Ahmedabad and a lady officer in civil clothes came into her bedroom and assaulted her when she demanded to speak to her lawyer.

Setalvad says that she was not shown the First Information Report or a warrant till her lawyer arrived.

Setalvad is booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery and other Sections of the IPC on the basis of an FIR lodged in the DCB by Inspector Darshansinh Barad, which quotes extensively from the Supreme Court order that upheld the clean chit by the SIT to Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat genocide.

The arrests came hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview, criticised the role of “a police official” and Setalvad’s NGO, in the case against Modi.

Former police DGP RB Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt are also booked in the nine-page FIR.

In its judgment on Friday, the court had observed, “As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock ad proceeded with in accordance with law.”

The above extract was also quoted in a complaint filed on behalf of the State by Darshansinh B Barad, Police Inspector, Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad City.

The press release said, “it is noteworthy that even when the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Zakia Jafri, where CJP Secretary Teesta Setalvad is the second petitioner, was being heard by the Supreme Court in December 2021, an elaborate smear campaign was launched against Teesta Setalvad where several past allegations were also dug up again.”

“Part of an elaborate witch-hunt”

According to CJP, Setalvad is being targeted today as part of an elaborate witch-hunt.

“…even courts of law have from time to time found no merit in allegations of Setalvad ‘tutoring’ any witnesses in the cases and have even granted reliefs in the cases she was hounded by which included false allegations of embezzlement of funds,” claims CJP.

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