Statements of Radical Socialist

Radical Socialist Statement: The Arrest of Teesta Setalvad

Published on Tuesday, 28 June 2022 08:45
Written by Radical Socialist

Radical Socialist strongly condemns the manner and the purpose behind the latest action taken against  the courageous and longstanding human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and her organisation, the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP). It is no coincidence that this action immediately followed the shocking Supreme Court judgement (unsigned by a three judge bench) that not only rejected the appeal for an investigation into the high-level conspiratorial circumstances surrounding the 2002 Gujarat pogrom but effectively directed the authorities to "bring to book" those upholding the Ehsan Jafri cause.

            First, an Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Gujarat was deployed to pick up Setalvad from her home in Mumbai, Maharashtra although the charges made in its First Information Report (FIR) in no way come under the brief of the ATS or justify its deployment. Second, she was whisked away without a necessary warrant. Third, she was roughed up and bruised in her home and three mobile phones were illegally seized. Fourth, in the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate's Court when no such order had been passed, the proceedings were nevertheless held "in camera", keeping  the media and interested and concerned members of the public out. Crime branch cops were posted to ensure this by intimidating onlookers.

            The detention and arrest of Teesta Setalvad (along with the indictment of the former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP), R.B. Sreekumar and of the police officer Sanjiv Bhatt since both had earlier testified to Modi's involvement in promoting the riots) serves specific and more general purposes. The motivation for now setting up a Gujarat controlled Special Investigation Team (SIT) is to go after the CJP and crush it as well as to make a case against Setalvad's presumed 'political masters'. This would fit in with the larger political ambition of the BJP to eliminate or subordinate all opposing political parties.

            In reality this is an act of sheer revenge by Modi, Shah and other cohorts in the Gujarat government of 2002 and after, to punish Setalvad et al for their steady and continuous pursuit of justice for the victims of that pogrom which had helped to criminally indict some wrong doers and to highlight the negligence and worse of that Gujarat government.

            Clearly, a message is being sent out to other civil liberties groups and activists resisting the communal behaviour and ideology of the Sangh Parivar and this BJP government that you had better watch out! An active and justice-loving citizenry willing to carry out independent fact-finding on any issue that may expose the iniquities and brutalities of state or central authorities will not be tolerated.

WE MUST STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE CJP AND CIVIL LIBERTIES GROUPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ACROSS INDIA

WE MUST CONTINUE OUR WORK TO EXPOSE THE INJUSTICES PERPETRATED BY THIS GOVERNMENT AND STAND AGAINST THE SANGH PARIVAR'S RACIST AND FASCISTIC PROJECT OF CREATING A HINDU RASHTRA.

WE REMAIN UNBOWED!

28/06/2022