Statement from People’s Alliance for Secularism and Democracy (PADS):
People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) expresses alarm at the Gujarat Police move to arrest the two activists, Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand in Mumbai. The arrest of Teesta Setalvad, who was denied bail by the Gujarat High court, has been stayed for 24 hours at the intervention of the Supreme Court.
Teesta Setalvad has been relentlessly championing the rights of the victims of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002. Her efforts resulted in the transfer of some of the riot related cases out of Gujarat and conviction of some bigwigs from the Gujarat government. The Government of Gujarat led by Anandiben Patel, the successor of the incumbent Prime Minister, is vindictive and has been after Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand for their bold stand in defence of the riot victims. Its aim seems to be to discourage anyone from taking legal recourse against misdeeds of the Gujarat government during and after the 2002 pogrom. A case of embezzlement of funds collected by their NGOs has been filed against Teesta, Javed and three others. Defendants have submitted documentary evidence in court against prosecution allegations. It must be noted that while the Gujarat government appears hell bent on targeting Teesta and her associates for standing up for riot victims, it has been reinstating the police officials who are facing serious criminal charges in fake encounter cases.
The PADS demands that the Gujarat government stop harassing Ms. Teesta Setalvad and Mr Javed Anand – whose anticipatory bail applications have been rejected by the Gujarat High Court today.