The Ahmedabad Crime Branch on Sunday registered a First Information Report against social activist Teesta Setalvad, accusing her of misusing foreign funds meant for helping the victims of the 2002 Gulbarg society massacre.
Sixty-nine Muslims, including Zakia Jafri’s husband and former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri, were killed at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad.
Ms. Setalwad had helped Ms. Zakia to file a complaint against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 61 others for their alleged involvement in the post-Godhra riots. But an Ahmedabad court recently accepted the Special Investigation Report’s closure report, giving a clean chit to Mr. Modi and others.
The Gulbarg Society victims have accused Ms. Setalwad and her husband Javed Anand of collecting foreign funds for riot victims but not using them. Twelve 12 Gulbarg victims served notice on her and lodged a complaint with the police commissioner who asked the Crime Branch to inquire into it.
The residents alleged that she had sought and collected huge donations from national and international bodies under the pretext of providing financial assistance for reconstruction of houses or developing the Gulbarg society into a museum. The complainants said she collected a donation of Rs. 63 lakh for the Citizens for Justice and Peace, of which she is secretary, and Rs. 88 lakh for Sabrang Trust; but nothing was passed on to the members.
The surviving victims, in a separate letter to the Police Commissioner, also sought a ban on the NGOs organising annual events on February 28 to express solidarity with the people who were killed in the 2002 riots. Following investigations, the Crime Branch has registered an FIR against Teesta and her husband Javed Anand.
Meanwhile, Ms. Setalwad has called it a set of vindictive actions, and it was a false FIR registered on “malicious grounds.”
“This time, the vindictiveness of the Gujarat police has extended to implicating two survivors: Salimbhai Sandhi who lost five family members, including his son Mohammed, and Firoz Gulzar Pathan who also lost five of his family in the vicious attack on the Gulberg Society on February 28, 2002. Javed Anand has also been roped in as a co-accused in this malicious and motivated case,” she told The Hindu.