Activist Teesta Setalvad detained by Gujarat ATS; action after SC order on Gujarat riots
A day after the Supreme Court’s order upholding SIT clean chit to Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots case filed by Zakia Jafri, Gujarat ATS detained activist Teesta Setalvad from her Mumbai residence. Teesta has been taken to the Santa Cruz police station. Those close to her say Gujarat ATS plans to take her to Ahmedabad for questioning.
According to Shabnam Hashmi, activist and friend of Teesta Setalvad, she has been detained under IPC sections 468 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents), 194 (fabricating evidence), 211 (filing false charges) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
Setalvad ‘s NGO had provided information about the 2002 riots to the police and her name has been mentioned in the Supreme Court judgment which upheld the SIT’s clean chit to Modi.
Action after Amit Shah’s interview
The move of the Gujarat ATS came hours after Union home minister Amit Shah in his interview with news agency ANI slammed Setalvad and said her NGO gave baseless information about Gujarat riots.
Setalvad’s lawyer said the police barged into her house and assaulted her. First, the activist was taken to Santa Cruz police station. From here, she will be taken to Ahmedabad city police station.
“I have read the judgment very carefully. The judgement clearly mentions the name of Teesta Setalvad. The NGO that was run being run by her — I don’t remember the name of the NGO — had given baseless information about the riots to the police,” Amit Shah, in an exclusive interview, told ANI.
SC order mentions Setalvad
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the appeal by Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gujarat violence, and said that the appeal was “devoid of merits.” A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, upholding the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) 2012 clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots case, said that Setalvad, co-petitioner in the case, exploited the emotions of Zakia Jafri.
“Antecedents of Teesta Setalvad need to be reckoned with and also because she has been vindictively persecuting this [dispute] for her ulterior design by exploiting the emotions and sentiments of Zakia Jafri, the real victim of the circumstances,” the top court said in its order.
A total of 68 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the riots triggered by the burning of a train coach in which 59 pilgrims perished in February 2002. A decade later, the SIT report, exonerated Narendra Modi, citing “no prosecutable evidence” in the Gulbarg Society case.