Silencing Teesta Setalvad
Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO), strongly condemns the false implication and detention of prominent human rights activist Teesta Setalvad in a criminal case. An FIR has been registered against her along with R B Sreekumar, a former Director General of Gujarat Police, and Sanjiv Bhatt, another IPS officer currently sentenced to life imprisonment.

Teesta Setalvad and her organisation, Citizens for Justice and Peace have been relentlessly working with the victims of the Gujarat riot of 2002 in providing justice, relief and rehabilitation. Teesta Setalvad has been in the forefront of judicial battle and is instrumental in exposing the political forces behind the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat, post- Godhra incidence.

Notwithstanding the SIT assessment and the court verdict based on it, it is a common perception and experience that such a large-scale genocide cannot be a spontaneous reaction to the Godhra incidence, and is a well-executed plan of the communal elements aligned with the Sangh Parivar.

CDRO is firmly of the view that the present case against Teesta Setalvad is a continuation of the earlier penal actions taken against her by the Gujarat Police and others, with the purpose of deterring her from seeking justice for victims of Gujarat genocide. This is also evident in the zeal with which she was picked up by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Gujarat. Why was ATS sent and how did they enter Ms Setalvad’s house in Mumbai and initially refused to let Ms Setalvad talk to her lawyer? Why did they act in such a manner that Ms Setalvad got badly hurt? CDRO strongly believes that defending the rights of the victims cannot be construed as a crime and can, by no figment of imagination, be termed as conspiratorial or terrorism in nature.
Asish Gupta
Co-ordinator, CDRO

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Vol 55, No. 3, Jul 17 - 23, 2022