The following is a Statement issued by SAHMAT in Support of Teesta Setalvad and others
We are shocked and outraged by the continuing attempt of the highly vindictive Modi government and the Gujarat police to somehow implicate activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, along with three victim-survivors of the state-sponsored Gujarat carnage in 2002 on patently trumped-up charges.
This is nothing but a desperate bid to delay or derail the justice process, in particular Zakia Jafri’s appeal which is now before the Gujarat High Court. Mrs. Jafri has accused Gujarat chief minister and home minister, Narendra Modi along with 59 other top politicians, police officers and civil servants of conspiracy for mass murder and other serious criminal offences.
It is significant that the Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae in the case, Mr. Raju Ramachandran, has told the apex court there was enough prima facie evidence to prosecute Modi.
Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand are being especially targeted as they are among the founder members of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and have been at the forefront of the struggle for justice for the victims-survivors of the Gujarat pogrom.
Equally condemnable is the hounding in the same alleged “cheating” case, of three office bearers of Gulberg Housing Society, Ahmedabad, each of whom lost several family members when police watched as frenzied mobs attacked their colony on February 27, 2002. Among them is Tanvir Jafri whose father and former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri was mercilessly butchered along with 68 others.
CJP is today nationally and internationally recognised and respected for the sustained efforts of its team of lawyers resulting in 117 of the perpetrators being given life sentences by the trial courts. Among them is former BJP MLA and minister in Modi cabinet Maya Kodnani and Gujarat’s Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi for their role in the Naroda Patiya massacre.
Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand have already filed affidavits in the courts, rebutting each and every charge in detail. What’s more, they have accused the Gujarat police of spreading falsehood through affidavits filed in court.
The latest malicious move of the Modi government and the Gujarat police is a clear indicator that revenge is the shape of things to come.
As citizens committed to the Rule of Law, we denounce the vengeful action of the Modi government and the Gujarat police, and demand immediate withdrawal of the motivated and baseless FIR against Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand, Tanvir Jafri and the office-bearers of the Gulberg Society.
Romila Thapar Rooprekha Verma Sashi Kumar
C.P. Chandrasekhar Prabhat Patnaik Anil Bhatti
Archana Prasad Vivan Sundaram Ram Rahman
Madangopal Singh M.K. Raina Ajeet Caur
Irfan Habib Githa Hariharan Gitanjali Shree
Indira Chandrasekhar Jasodhra Bagchi Shubha Mudgal
K.M. Shrimali Sudhir Chandra Shireen Moosvi
Sohail Hashmi Amiya Kumar Bagchi Aditya Nigam
Ajith Pillai Ali N. Rizavi Amar Farooqui
Amit Sen Gupta Anil Chandra Anuradha Chenoy
Arjun Dev Arpana Caur Asad Zaidi
B.P. Sahu Badri Raina Biswamoy Pati
D.N. Jha E. Somanathan Faizan Haider Naqvi
Geeta Kapur Ghayur Alam Neshat Qaiser
Iqtidar Alam Khan Anil Rai Anwer Pasha
Indira Arjun Dev Ishrat Alam Jauhar Kanungo
Jayati Ghosh Kamal Mitra Chenoy Kesavan Veluthat
Keval Arora Kumar Shahani Lata Singh
Lima kanungo Madhu Prasad Zoya Hasan
Madhusree Dutta Malini Bhattacharya Mihir Bhattacharya
MMP Singh Mohan Rao Moloyashree Hashmi
N.K. Sharma Najaf Haider Nalini Taneja
Nandakumar Navjot Altaf Nikhil Kumar
Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay Nilima Sheikh Mrinalini Mukherjee
Parthiv Shah Nivedita Menon Utsa Patnaik
Prabhat Shukla Pradeep Saxena Praful Bidwai
R.C. Thakran Rahul Verma Rajendra Prasad
Rakhshanda Jalil Zafar Agha Ramesh Rawat
Rebecca Kurian Rekha Awasthi S. Kalidas
S.Z.H. Jafri Saba Hasan Sashi Kumar
Shakti Kak Shamim Akhtar Shamshad
Shikha Ghosh Wasi Haider Shohini Ghosh
Sukumar Muralidharan V. Ramakrishna Seshnarayan Singh
Sumitra Purkayastha Abhilasha Kumari Jagmati Sangwan
Manisha Bakhshi Pratul Dash