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Rejection Of The Anticipatory Bail Application Of Teesta Setalvad Is Shocking

By Concerned Citizens

26 March, 2014

We, the undersigned express our deep shock at the rejection of the anticipatory bail application of Teesta Setalvad and four others in what is being called the Gulberg Embezzlement Case, by the City sessions court of Ahmedabad. From its beginning, the so-called embezzlement has been the concoction of elements instigated by the state government of Gujarat, including the Gujarat Crime Branch. In January 2014, an FIR was registered against the five accused for defrauding the members of the Gulberg Society of funds meant for the building of the Gulberg Memorial commemorating the state sponsored carnage.

It may be in order to recall the facts of the case, especially, since a section of the media is spreading canards that the funds thus raised were used for buying jewellery, wine and such like, and gloating over the possibility of the arrest of Teesta Setalvad and others. First, the complainant in the case, Feroze Khan, had forged the letterhead of the Gulberg Society to file the complaint. A written complaint to this effect was sent to the Crime Branch, Ahmedabad Police by the office bearers of the Gulberg Society.

Second, as early as in March 2013, when the allegations first surfaced, the Centre for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust, had provided satisfactory explanation to the Crime Branch and investigation had been dropped. CJP had clarified that at no point had it collected any amount or money or land from any person residing at or claiming to be part of Gulberg society. CJP and Sabrang issued a public affidavit which showed that only Rs 4.5 lakhs had been collected for the proposed museum, of which Rs 50,000 was from foreign sources – but as the land prices spiraled, the dream for a memorial was abandoned. Its audited accounts and resolutions passed in the society proved as much.

Third, months after the investigation had been closed, the complaint was revived and the FIR registered in January 2014, as CJP was preparing for the filing of Smt. Zakia Jafri’s protest petition. It was a blatant move to jeopardize and demoralize the petitioners by the Gujarat government.

Fourth, two of the co-accused in the case are survivors of the terrible massacre in Gulberg Society in February 2002: Salimbhai Sandhi who lost five family members including his son Mohammed; and Firoz Gulzar Pathan who also lost five from his family. The third co-accused is Tanvir Jafri, son of the former MP, Ehsan Jafri, who was also hacked and burnt to death in the massacre.

There can be little doubt that this FIR is part of a long series of vindictive actions undertaken by the vengeful Gujarat government – fraudulent cases have been filed earlier too – to teach Teesta Setalvad and CJP a ‘lesson’ for continuing the struggle for justice. We are disappointed that the sessions court has chosen to reject the anticipatory bail applications, thus making their arrests imminent.

In extending our heartfelt solidarity with Teesta Setalvad and other friends today, we reiterate our commitment to sharpen the struggle to preserve the values of democracy, secularism and justice.

Anuradha Chenoy, Academic, JNU

Adeel Mehdi, Academic, Delhi

Anil Thayarath Varghese, Delhi Solidarity Group

Ahmed Sohaib, Academic, Delhi

Ania Loomba, Academic, USA

A Faizur Rehman, the Moderates forum

Amit Sengupta, Senior Journalist, Delhi

Anuradha Banerji

Anusha Rizvi, Filmmaker, Delhi

Apoorvanand, Professor, University of Delhi.

Arshad Ajmal, Activist, Patna

Asad Ashraf, Jamia Students Solidarity Forum, Delhi

D. Gabriele, Pennurimai Iyakkam

Deepti, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, Delhi

Farhathullah Khan, Chennai

Gautam Bhan, writer and activist, Delhi

Ghazi Shahnawaz, Academic, Delhi

Ghulam Mohiyuddin

Harsh Kapoor, Activist, Delhi

Harsh Mander, Activist& Writer, Delhi

Ilina Sen, Academic, Mumbai

J.S. Bandukwala, Academic, Gujarat

Janaki Srinivasan, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Javed Naqvi, Senior Journalist, Delhi

Jaya Sharma, Independent trainer, researcher and activist, Delhi

John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, Delhi

Juhi Jain, Feminist activist and writer, Delhi

Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Academic, JNU, Delhi

K.M. Sreemali, Historian, Delhi

Kamayani Mahabal, Activist and Lawyer, Mumbai

Kavita Srivastava, National Secretary, PUCL

Kiran Bhatty, Academic, Delhi

Kiran Shaheen, Activist, Delhi

Kriti, Activist, Delhi

Kumar Sundaram, Anti Nuke Activist, Delhi

Lesley A Esteves, Queer Rights Activist, Delhi

Mahtab Alam, Activist, Delhi/ Bangalore

Manisha Sethi, Academic, Delhi

Mansi Sharma, Activist, Delhi

Mayur Suresh, Advocate and legal researcher, Delhi/ London.

Mario da Penha, Historian, Mumbai

Mohammad Imran

Mona Das, Academic, University of Delhi

M. Reyaz, Journalist, Delhi

Mubasshir Mushtaq, freelance journalist, Malegaon

Nabanipa Bhattacharjee, Academic, Delhi

Nandini Rao, Activist, New Delhi

Noor Enayat, Brand Consultant, Delhi

Ovais Sultan Khan, Activist, Delhi

Pramada Menon, Delhi

Ponni Arasu, Chennai

Praveen Kumar, Satyawati College, University of Delhi.

Pervez Bari, Journalist, Bhopal

Pushpa, WSS-Karnataka

Purwa Bharadwaj, Delhi

Rahul Govind, Academic, University of Delhi

Ram Puniyani, writer and activist, Mumbai

Rama Srinivasan, Research Scholar, Providence

Rohini Hensman, writer and activist, Mumbai

Rituparna Borah, Queer Feminist Activist, New Delhi

Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Gujarat

Sadhna Arya, University of Delhi

Sanghamitra Misra, Academic, University of Delhi

Satnam, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre

Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD, Delhi

S.Q. Maqsood, Activist, Hyderabad

Sumathi Sudhakar, Writer, Chennai

Shipra Nigam, Consultant Economist, Delhi

Shohini Ghosh, Academic and Filmmaker, Delhi

Subhash Ghatade, Writer and Activist, Delhi

Sukla Sen, EKTA, (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai

Sunalini Kumar, Academic, Delhi

Tanweer Fazal, Academic, JNU

Trideep Pais, Advocate, Delhi

Trupti Shah, Activist, Gujarat

Uma V. Chandru, Member, WSS National Campaign

Uma Chakravarti, Historian and activist, Delhi

Vani Subrahmaniam, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre

Varsha Mehta, Consultant, Forestry and Rural Livelihoods, New Delhi/ Ahmedabad

Vineet Tiwari, Sandarbh, Indore

Wilfred D Costa, INSAF, Delhi

Zafarullah Khan, Advocate, Chennai

Zaheer Ahmed Sayeed, Neurologist, Chennai

Zuleikha Jabeen, Activist, Delhi



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