The Gujarat Police Crime Branch on Sunday arrested activist Teesta Setalvad in connection with a case on her NGO which gave baseless information about the 2002 Gujarat riots to the police. “Former IPS officer RB Sreekumar was arrested yesterday and Teesta Setalvad was arrested on Sunday. Forging of evidence and hindering with evidence will be looked into,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Chaitanya Mandlik, adding that the accused are not supporting the police in the investigation.
Teesta is remanded to police custody till 2 July.
On Saturday, Gujarat Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) team detained Setalvad from Mumbai.
Teesta, who was produced before the court on Sunday, on the other hand, alleged that her arrest was illegal and she was driven from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in a car to intimidate a “human rights lawyer”.
The Supreme Court had on Friday, dismissed as “devoid of merit” an appeal by Zakia Jafri in a plea challenging SIT’s clean chit to the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi and others in cases related to the riots. Zakia Jafri is the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the riots.A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, upholding the Special Investigation Team or SIT’s 2012 clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was the then chief minister of Gujarat, in the Gujarat riots case, said that Setalvad, co-petitioner in the case, exploited the emotions of Zakia Jafri.“All those involved in such abuse of process need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with the law,” the judges said, adding that the appeal was filed under “dictation of someone.”“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 top court said in its order.The case pertains to what came to be known as Gulbarg Society incident, in which 68 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the riots triggered by the burning of a train coach in which 59 people perished in February 2002.
Talking to media DCP Mandlik said that as of now the investigation is at a primary level and later strict actions will be taken once the investigation is done.“We have done the medical check-up, and the due process was followed by the Crime Branch. The investigation is at a primary level, strict actions will be taken once the investigation is done. We have the primary affidavits and documents submitted by accused,” he added.Earlier in the day, Setalvad was taken for a medical checkup at Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.“They have done my medical. I have a big bruise on my hand, this is what the ATS did to me. They are taking me to the magistrate’s court,” said Teesta Setalvad had said after the medical checkup.