Tue, 03 Oct 2023

New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): After a metropolitan court granted the remand of social activist Teesta Setalvad to the Ahmedabad crime branch till July 2 on charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy, BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia has hit out stating that she was only a "small branch of spreading communal hatred" while its "headquarter is in the Congress party".

Notably, Teesta Setalvad was arrested on Sunday for questioning after Union Home Minister Amit Shah in an interview with ANI said that Setalvad-run NGO gave baseless information about the 2002 Gujarat riots to the police.

"A landmark judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, dismissing the petition submitted by Zakia Jafri. After this decision, some comments were made, which revealed the real character of some people sitting on the contract to protect human rights. For the last two decades, a political conspiracy and effort were being run against the world's most respected leader," Bhatia said.

"The Ahmedabad Crime Branch registered an FIR and a woman named Teesta Setalvad, who calls herself a champion of human rights, came to the fore. Teesta Setalvad was only a small branch of spreading communal hatred, its headquarter is in the Congress party," he alleged.

Alleging that they were not fighting for justice for the families of the victims, Bhatia said that their "main target" was only to "end the political term" of then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"It is clear from the statements of one of his associates who were with Teesta Setalvad that these people are not fighting for justice for the families of the victims. Their target was to end the political innings of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat," he said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Gujarat government decided to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the state's Anti-Terrorism Squad DIG Deepan Bhadran to investigate the role of Setalvad, Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

An FIR was lodged against Setalvad, Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for giving false testimonies in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots, a top police official said.

The six-member SIT will include DCP (Crime) Chaitanya Mandlik, ATS SP Sunil Joshi, Deputy SP (Special Operations Group) BC Solanki, who will be the investigating officer, and a woman police inspector, among others, the official said on conditions of anonymity.

On Saturday, Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) team detained Setalvad from Mumbai in connection with a case on her NGO and later in the night she was taken to Ahmedabad.

The Gujarat ATS team took Teesta Setalvad to the Santacruz police station. 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. (ANI)

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