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Threat To Arrest Human Rights Activists
And Journalists By Gujarat Police

By Sabrang

30 December, 2010

There is some suggestion and strong possibilities that the Gujarat Police may try to stage an arrest of Teesta Setalvad, journists from Sahara, NDTV, CNN-IBN in a cooked up case. The framed charges:

That Teesta Setalvad through the organization she represents Citizens for Justice and Peace has been giving legal aid and support to many other victims of the state sponsored carnage in Gujarat in 2002. That over the past three months a specific campaign had been launched through a former employee of the Petitioner’s organization Rais Khan who in the earlier instance had also obtained ABA from this Court.

That this former employee has now been induced/swayed by the local police in tandem with the accused being currently tried for heinous crimes including conspiracy, mass murder, gang rape etc.

That this Rais Khan was discontinued from the empoy of the petitioner organization on January 18 2008 after his conduct was found to arise suspicions, including financial irregularities. That notice of his removal from service was placed in a [public advertisement that appeared in Gujarati Newspapers That since September, first through applications to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Apex Court, then through the various trial courts appointed to hear the trials in the most heinous cases, Rais Khan has tried to disrupt the trial process, commit contempt of the court and aid the accused by making false and malafide accusations against this Teesta Setalvad and her organization of tutoring witnesses and tampering with evidence.

That these allegations are false and baseless and have been maliciously amplified through the Pioneer newspaper edited by nine less than BJP Member of Parliament Chandan Mitra and BJP sympathizers especially in publications like the India Today.

That in the most recent instance, there is serious apprehension that Rais Khan, after false and malafide statements made under section 164 of the CrPC is attempting to implicate the Petitioner No 1 on false and malicious ground. A report of The Times of India (Ahmedabad edition) dated December 30 2010 is annexed to give weight to these serious apprehensions.

That the CJP's advocate in the Gujarat High Court, Shri MM Tirmizi who has fought over 220 cases for the victims of 2002 is also being made the malicious target of the accused in the Naroda Patia case, Rais Khan and a communalised Bar Council in the State of Gujarat.

That the fact of this case are briefly as under:

a. On Dec 27, 2005 victim survivors of the Pandharwada massacre (where officially 27 persons were massacred on 1.3.2002) who were frustrated after the studied refusal of the state authorities to hand back skeletal remains of their dead which were dumped illegally by the state’s police, began the digging themselves. The spot where they had been illegally dumped was off the Paanam river Lunawada in Godhra district.

b. For months before they started digging they had approached the authorities to dig out their remains. There was no response. Frustrated, they started the digging they had informed some members of the electronic media and also Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP). The CJP’s then coordinator Rais Khan , contacted its Secretary, the Petitionr in Mumbai. The Petitioner clearly told them to wait at the spot till the authorities came, she informed the Collector and SP and contacted lawyers and moved the High Court of Gujarat the next day.

The local police was informed by fax of the frustration of the victims. The statement made by Rais Khan before the police in 2006 states these facts.

c. Victims and CJP together moved the Gujarat High Court forthwith and on December 29, 2005 obtained orders on our prayer for the DNA sampling from Red HILL Hyderabad The DNA sampling proved that the victim survivors were right. Nine of the 22 skeletal remains were found to be of the relatives of the victims of the Pandharwada massacre.

d. Meanwhile a vindictive state machinery that had not returned the skeletal remains to the victims after the tragedy and for three years thereafter instead of assisting the process filed an FIR (CR !/2006) against victims which included Rais Khan then with the CJP.

e. Following in its tradition of victimising human rights defenders and victims, the local police lodged an FIR on Jan 1 2006 against victim survivors and Rais Khan of the CJP. CJP gave full legal aid to them and bail was granted and a stay against their arrest also granted by the Gujarat High Court.

f. In the intervening years, Rais Khan has today is no more with the petitioner organisation, he was dismissed from service. He is today under the influence been won over by the powerful accused who are close to the political dispensation that rules Gujarat. Suddenly, on November 24, 2010 the matter that had been stayed by the Gujarat High Court was listed and the stay vacated. Rais Khan has thereafter surrendered and has in statement recorded under section 164 made false accusations against mediapersons and Teesta Setalvad.

g. It is significant to note that after the initial order in the Gujarat HC which was a breakthrough, year later the Gujarat HC dismissed the victims’ petition asking for transfer of investigation of the massacre to the CBI. Ironically we had pointed out that the panchnamas related to the crimes had nowhere mentioned the skeletal remains.

h. The victim survivors had to go up to the Supreme Court of India to finally obtain orders as late as December 12, 2008 to permit reclaiming of the DNA identified bodies and it was only in mid-2010 that the burial sought for for six years actually took place.

i. The state has consistently tried to build up a false case stating that this was never an illegal dumping but a proper burial on Forest land off an river. Legally speaking not only has the panchnama of the original crime of mass murder not list the skeletal remains disproving the version of the Gujarat state and police. The argument of the victims and the Petition herein has always been that the Lunawada town nearby has a large Kabrastan hence if Guj Police could in fact not trace relatives, what was the need to so dump the remains rather than according them a dignified prayer cum burial in the Kabrastan? Why dump them in an obscure spot off the river rather than give them to community leaders for a dignified burial? Sections being applied Section 295 A is one section being applied. The other is (laughably) 193 which "assisting accused of 2002 massacre!!!"

Other cases
Sections 193, 194, 195, 196, 199 and 200 “and other provisions of the Code”


http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIA/2010/12/30&

Times Of India , Ahmedabad

Guj police at scribe’s house for probe

Bhopal: A Gujarat police team on Wednesday was at the residence of journalist Rahul Singh to bring him to Gujarat for interrogation in connection with a story he had done in 2005 on graves of riot victims. Rahul Singh’s father N K Singh, who is the resident editor of a leading national daily here, said that some officials from the Gujarat police came to his house on Wednesday morning. Singh said that the police told him that they wanted to take Rahul to Gujarat for interrogation in connection with the story that he had done. He said that according to the police team, details of what would happen to Rahul would be decided only after he reaches Gujarat.

Singh said the police team told him that they had come with summons for Rahul although they did not have any warrant for him. He said that the team told him that they would paste the summons on his house, but they did not do so. The story was done by correspondents of three news channels and all of them have been made co-accused in the case along with Teesta Setalvad. PTI