Civil society and political activists raise voices in support of social activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand who are facing arrest by the Gujarat police
By Team FI
Following the Gujarat High Court’s rejection of the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand and Gujarat police’s immediate arrival in Mumbai to arrest Setalvad in the embezzlement case of the Gulbarg society, activists, eminent citizens, journalists and legal experts have condemned the actions of the Gujarat government.
At a function organised at the Press Club of India on 16 February, in New Delhi, former Additional Solicitor General of India Indira Jaisingh, veteran journalist and activist Dr. John Dayal and the editor of Jan Satta Hindi daily Om Thanvi spoke against the machinations of the Gujarat government and questioned the veracity of its claims against Setalvad and Anand.
On 15th February, a demonstration of solidarity with Setalvad and Anand was organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) Maharashtra committee. A large number of activists and eminent citizens gathered outside local railway station at Dadar to condemn the Gujarat police of hounding the social activists with false cases.
The gathering was attended by film maker Anand Patwardhan, renowned writer-activist Dr. Ram Puniyani, AIDWA Maharashtra Secretary Sonya Gill, CITU leader Dr.Vivek Monteiro, Dolphy D’souza, Subodh More, Vandana Shah, Sumedh Jadhav and several other eminent citizens of Mumbai. DYFI state president conducted Adv.Bhagavan Bhagwan Bhojne, Secretary Preethy Sekhar and State committee member Moin Ansar also spoke.
As per the press release issued by DYFI, Anand Patwardhan spoke about the long standing criminal record of Gujarat Police, alleging that they have become a tool in the hands of Sangh Parivar. Cruel encounter killings, diabolic attempts to destroy evidence and frame innocents – these are the credentials of Gujarat Police, stated Patwardhan in his speech.
Gujarat Police is targeting Teesta because she had shown many BJP leaders their way to Jail
Dr. Ram Puniyani stated that Gujarat Police is targeting Teesta because she had shown many BJP leaders their way to Jail. “What is now taking place is part of the efforts to insulate the perpetrators of 2002 massacres from the process of law. Fascist forces occupying state power are not going to stop at this. They will try to hunt down everyone who will stand up for justice. All citizens who wants secularism and democracy to prevail must fearlessly resist SanghParivar machinations,” said Dr.Puniyani.
The press release stated that Sonya Gill drew attention to the irony of police officers accused of infamous encounter killings are walking free even as Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand are sought to be put behind bars. “Tireless and courageous work by Teesta and Javed have been instrumental in bringing high-placed criminals to justice. Now the state machinery is trying to frame them in the hope that their work could be obstructed. It is a matter of much pride that Teesta and Javed are undeterred by all the machinations of Gujarat Police,” said Gill as per the press statement.
Dr. Vivek Monteiro explained how BJP has been using the police machinery in Gujarat and elsewhere to frame innocents. It is a pity that judiciary is not able to prevent the bias in our police system against minorities and those who stand up for the rights of the marginalized sections.
“Slogans like “Teesta tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hai”, “BJP sarkkar ki dadagiri nahi chalegi” electrified the evening at Dadar; it was a show of determination and unity of secular forces in Mumbai. DYFI leaders declared that, in the days to come, the organization will galvanise the secular collective of Maharashtra and meet the challenges posed by Hindutwa forces in the state,” declared the press release. According to the press release the demonstration was attempted to be disrupted by the Mumbai police who were present in large numbers at the protest site.