The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday detained activist Teesta Setalvad and former IPS officer RB Sreekumar for allegedly giving false information pertaining to the 2002 Gujarat riots case. The two were detained a day after the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi, for allegedly conspiring to orchestrate the 2002 Gujarat Riots when he was the chief minister at the time.
Sreekumar was the Additional Director General of Police and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who is also named in the FIR, was the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in the state Intelligence Bureau during the 2002 Gujarat Riots. Bhatt is currently serving a life sentence in a custodial death case.
Post the riots, Bhatt has been vocal about Modi's alleged involvement in the 2002 communal riots. Bhatt alleged that he was part of the meeting where Modi allegedly asked top police officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger against the Muslims.
The Gujarat ATS detained Setalvad and Sreekumar based on an FIR filed by the Gujarat Crime Branch after the Supreme Court's June 24 judgment. Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was also named in the FIR, however, he is already in jail in connection with another case. The Gujarat State police have accused Setalvad, Sreekumar, and Bhatt of conspiring to abuse the process of law by falsifying records, fabricate false evidence and frame innocent people. If those who were falsely accused were convicted, the charges would have attracted the death penalty.
Supreme Court on June 24, upheld the Special Investigation Team (SIT) clean chit given to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots. Slain Congress leader Ahsan Jahri's wife Zakia and Setalvad had challenged the SIT's clean chit to Modi. In its verdict, the three-judge bench added that Setalvad, who challenged the clean chit with Zakia Jafri, exploited the latter's emotions.
"Antecedents of Teesta Setalvad need to be reckoned with and also because she has been vindictively persecuting this lis [dispute] for her ulterior design by exploiting the emotions and sentiments of Zakia Jafri, the real victim of the circumstances," the three-judge bench had observed. The top court called Setalvad's actions, "abuse of process".
Setalvad's detention comes hours after Home Minister Amit Shah in an exclusive interview with ANI said that Setalvad's NGO had given baseless information about the 2002 Gujarat riots. "I have read the judgment carefully. It (the judgment) 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."
Speaking to BOOM, Setalvad's lawyer, Vijay Hiremath, confirmed the detention and said that after producing her at the Santacruz police station, the Gujarat Police had left for Ahmedabad with her.
While she was detained, Setalvad filed a written complaint to the Santacruz police station alleging illegal and improper treatment by the police officers. Setalvad has alleged that the police officials forcibly entered her bedroom and assaulted her. Mumbai police spokesperson confirmed the same and said that the police station was processing her application.
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?