Tag Archive for Teesta Setalvad

CBI search seeks to intimidate and humiliate, Teesta Setalvad


Instead of looking at cases like Vyapam scam and Asaram Bapu cases wherein witnesses have been killed, or cases where politicians have been implicated in crimes, CBI is being used to attack human rights defenders

By Team FI
India’s Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI), On 13 July, launched a search on the residence of social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand and office of Sabrang Communications and Publishing. This was related to the case filed against Setalvad and her organisation which alleged that they violated Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) rules.

The CBI had registered a case on July 8 against all these under IPC Section related to criminal conspiracy (120-B) along with provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976.

The following is the statement received from Teesta Setalvad on Tuesday evening:
As I write this, the search is still not concluded. It is shocking that while over a dozen members of the CBI are still in our premises conducting the search, the CBI’s Delhi spokesperson is misleading the public and our vast supporters by a series of misinformations and official tweets.

In our view, and we repeat, no laws have been broken by us. This is a continuation of the persecution and witch-hunt first launched by the Gujarat police in 2014 then under the dispensation that rules Delhi. The CBI has taken the same documents that we had voluntarily, on inspection, given the MHA (FCRA dept). Over 25,000 pages of documentary evidence have been given to the Gujarat Police. When they could not succeed with the bizarre and desperate attempts to gain custody (February 2015), it was the Gujarat Government’s Home Department that wrote to the MHA and the current round of the persecutions began.

It’s shameful political vendetta. The Zakia Jafri case begins its final hearings on July 27 2015. The Naroda Patiya appeals (Maya Kodnani and Bajrangi) are being heard in the Gujarat High Court tomorrow. This is nothing but a bid to subvert the cause of public justice and ensure that no justice happens in these cases

We had written to the CBI offering full cooperation. The so called offences relate to documentary evidence. This search is nothing but an attempt to intimidate and humiliate. India should be ashamed that when scams like Vyapam are happening, over 50 persons dying, witnesses in Asaram Bapu case are dying, the CBI is not appealing in critical cases related to crimes by politicians The agency is being unleashed on human rights defenders standing up for the rights of Survivors of Mass Violence. It is worse than the British Raj. Pathetic.

I repeat Sabrang Communications has broken no law(s). One: Section 3 of FCRA, 2010 bars certain ‘persons’ (political parties and its office bearers, government servants and those associated with registered newspapers and those involved in the production and broadcast of news) from receiving foreign donations. However, the very next section, Section 4 which is subtitled ‘Persons to whom section 3 shall not apply’ states: “Nothing contained in section 3 shall apply to the acceptance, by any person specified 3 in that section, of any foreign contribution where such contribution is accepted by him, subject to the provisions of section 10- (a) by way of salary, wages or other remuneration due to him or to any group of persons working under him, from any foreign source or by way of payment in the ordinary course of business transacted in India by such foreign source”.

Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt. Ltd Co. which published the monthly ‘Communalism Combat’ signed a Consultancy Agreement with Ford Foundation in 2004 and 2006 “to address the issues of caste and communalism” through a clearly defined set of activities which had nothing whatsoever to do with Communalism Combat or remuneration to Javed Anand or Teesta Setalvad towards discharging editorial/managerial functions. The Consultancy was signed by Sabrang Communications only after advice from eminent legal counsel that such an agreement was covered under the exclusion stipulated under Section 4 of the Act and therefore the consultancy fees (not grant or donation) received would not be in violation of FCRA 2010. Ford Foundation in fact deducted TDS with every installment of consultancy fees it paid to Sabrang Communications. The activities undertaken and the expenses incurred were in accordance with the agreement. Activities and Financial Reports were submitted annual to the satisfaction of Ford Foundation.

Two, Sabrang has kept records and provided copies of the same to the FCRA during the inspection visit of FCRA team in Mumbai on June 9 and 10, 2015, Additional documents as required were also posted to FCRA department.

Three: Deliberately or otherwise, the FCRA team is confusing the well- known lobbying that is part of the political process in the USA with advocacy initiatives whereby NGOs, civil society activists engage with the government of the day to draw their attention towards the legitimate issues of women, children, dalits, religious or linguistic or sexual minorities, differently-baled persons etc. It is ridiculous to equate such advocacy initiatives with lobbying. Sabrang Communications therefore denies all the allegations.

Four: While believing in the rule of law and due process, we believe that the State has innumerable devices at its disposal to simply throttle dissent, intimidate and through these crass techniques try to ensure coercive compliance.

Activists question Gujarat Govt motives in Setalvad case

Teesta- Setalvad

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.