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Updated: January 6, 2014 14:29 IST

FIR against Teesta for alleged misuse of foreign funds

Special Correspondent
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Civil Rights activist Teesta Setalvad. File photo.
The Hindu
Civil Rights activist Teesta Setalvad. File photo.

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.

Vindictive: Teesta

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.  


Who is "vindictive" against Teesta? Could it be the Gulbarg Society
'victims' who were allegedly cheated by her, and who had also earlier
served notices on her? How can she blame the Gujarat Police?

from:  N.S.Rajan
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 16:42 IST

Teesta should put in public and get checked the detailed accounts of
her NGO's receipts and its noble use
) for the victims of Gulberg Society.Otherwise
she should face the legal battle.There is nothing wrong to take such
people to task. <

Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 15:59 IST

As long as the police, CBI and such other investigation/prevention
agencies remain hand maiden of the governments, we will never knowthe
truth. As of today no court has held the CM of Gujarat guilty directly
or indirectly. All the people who want to hang him,including this so
called activist, have failed to prove their cases before the courts.
So they must either obey the law, hold their peace and move on or they
should expect reaction of equally unacceptable behaviour if they
continue their innuendo and baseless charges. Why should opponents of
Teesta behave more responsibly when she does not?

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 15:01 IST

These so called activists, and pseudo seculars thrive on troubles of innocent political leaders like Narendra Modi.

They are no better than the parasites which live off bloods of helpless creatures.

from:  Dinesh Kumar
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 14:45 IST

The term NGO is usually applied, only to organizations that pursue wider social aims that have political aspects, but are not openly political organizations such as political parties. India has 3.3 million NGO, which is 1 NGO per 400 citizens! In contrast there is 1 police person per 1200 people in states like Karnataka and Tamilnadu. It is time to create a Ministry (secular!) for better monitoring of NGOs !!

Several NGOs misuse their mandate and serve personal and vested interests that are at cross purposes with their stated secular and altruistic ideals.

Teesta is No Angel ! There are Incidents relating to her treatment meted out to associate Rais Khan Pathan and the tutoring of witnesses (Zakira) and refusal to share the booty collected in good faith as alleged by none other than the victims!!

Usually we tend to claim "Law must take its own course" or "Legal system is Corrupt" depending on our convenience. Hence the reader comments tend to fall in one of these categories.

from:  R Srinath
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 14:09 IST

Somebody has written that Gujarat govt. holds the moral responsibility of the riots. Does that mean any one can do any crime in Gujarat till those responsible for the riots are punished? Great logic!! People say the speeches of the Sangh leaders are inflammatory. Maybe.. But people tend to forget what these people have said in few days or latest by few months. But imagine painting a picture of a fetus hung on a trisul. Will somebody ever forget such an incident? The SIT probes has found that the whole story was cooked up just to create public uproar, invoke media interest and public interest. Or perhaps such stories might have more market value in the business of ‘Activism’ and NGOs and get sympathy from their foreign funding agencies. Which one can do more damage to the communal harmony of this country? An inflammatory speech or a baseless cooked up story? If the horrific story is a cooked up one, will you ever be able to convince the people of this country that it has never occurred?

from:  Vishnu
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 13:58 IST

The funds not reaching the beneficiaries, is it any surprise? If a river has to reach the sea, it needs to fill up all the pits & ponds on the way...

from:  V. K. ALEXANDER
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 13:46 IST

This is in response to the comment of Ubaidulla. What Mr Modi has done is viewed differently by different people. While you are entitled to your personal opinion, please don't equate it with "every Indian". There are enough fans of Modi and I believe he is an excellent leader, Godhra train massacre or post-Godhra Hindu-and-Muslim massacre included.

from:  Narendra A
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 13:44 IST

Why she is crying is not understood. She claims to be a very prominent
lawyer and should know all the laws. If it is vindictive and false FIR,
she being a resourceful lawyer can fight it out. She has been very vocal
on TV channels. Now what happened? Afraid of law?

from:  Anil Agrawal
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 13:33 IST

SIT has explained about some of the cooked up stories, false affidavits and tutored witnesses all done just to create more sympathy. Some of the orchestrations were promoted by several NGOs(sadly Teesta's group was alleged to be one)

What if the complaint is in fact True that an NGO is swindling money in the name of riot victims and the victims are not getting anything from it. If this has no basis, this case will be quashed in lower court itself.

So before making a generalization that Teesta should be good because she hates Modi, it would be only proper to just listen to the complaint.

When there is a complaint, filing a FIR is the fundamental step. I see only an over reaction to a simple FIR.

from:  Paddy
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 13:17 IST

It is a pity that comments expressed by some viewers are totally biased and factually incorrect.
Teesta has been rapped by the court as well in the past for wrong facts and telling lies in the case and also influencing witnesses.
I am not sure how these viewers are able to say it is a job of Gujarat Govt. Did they do any background checks?

I also do not understand one comment about "timing of FIR".. What is wrong with timing of FIR? infact FIR has been filed after so many high profile people have been arrested/sentenced...

from:  Praveen
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:55 IST

She is not above board.. Already there were allegations against her. She
wants Modi to prove innocent in courts. It is her turn to do now. No
use blaming "vendetta politics"

from:  V.RAJARAM
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:54 IST

It is also the part of whitening the figure of Narendra modi who
committed massacre as he did before with the help of government.This is
to cut over the fingers that question misdeeds of Gujarat government.One
thing is clear that whatever he had done is still there in minds of
every Indian.

Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:47 IST

Teesta Setlavad was headlines for all wrong doing she had done. Used wrong means just to propagate her personal agenda. So, there is no surprise at the decision.

from:  Makarand
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:37 IST

Intention of Gujarat Government is quite clear that if you pin out the
finger against government, be ready to pay when time comes and don't
dare to oppose. Everyone knows the mass killings of both Muslims and
Hindu and inaction of state government in controlling that
(purposefully?). Corrupt minister (as sentenced by Porbander court)
Babubhai is still in ministry. Lokayukta matter state government has by
its dictatorial approach. Now Teesta is victim............Everything is
against the soul of democracy...............

from:  Dr. Prashant Kumar Jha
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:16 IST

The timing of the FIR is very interesting. We are with you Ms.Teesta and
admire your courage and determination. People like you represent the
civil society and sane voices. Soon after the recent verdict clearing
and absolving Mr.Modi, comes this FIR. The motive of FIR is to be

from:  Dr.Paul Raj
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:08 IST

@Murali V
'Not a single murderer punished for the riots': even two high profile leaders, 'Maya Kodnani' and 'Babu Bajrangi' has been sentenced for life term and they are serving in jail( Maya KOdnani(58) has been given bail for three months on medical ground as she is suffering from 'tuberculosis of the intestine' ). So please check the facts before writing.
And for Teesta, Supreme court appointed SIT has blamed her for spicing up the issue(ofcourse it was very unfortunate and inhuman incident, I am only putting her role) with the help of some NGOs. So we should see what happens instead of giving someone clean chit and assuming others guilty. As of now, only FIR has been registered, case will go to the court and then only any decision will come.

from:  shyam Tripathi
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 11:19 IST

The timing of filing the FIR is interesting enough!

from:  Seshagiri Row
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 11:12 IST

She was paying for the courage to challenge the authoritative
regime,obviously it seems vindictive action against her.And going by the
line,the FIR is filed after court accepted the SIT closure report.Pity
for the victim who fallen to such an act of filing complaint against the
same person who was vocal for their cause.

from:  sikander
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 10:39 IST

This is a shame for the social space. People like these are featured
more in the media than the thousands of NGOs doing good work.

from:  Arvind Sridharan
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 10:32 IST

Not a single murderer punished for the riots, but a person who fights
against them has to now run from pillar to post for taking them on -
ominous signs of what Modi's "governance" has in store for India,
should he become PM.

BJP cannot claim the moral high ground any more against Congress -
both are shameless double-faced parties that have proved they are
capable of scuttling the due process of law, when it suits them -
high time people of India consign these parties to the dustbin of

The people deserve much better than these

from:  Murali V
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 10:22 IST

Interesting Development. Government need to create some Laws pertaining
to financial disclosure of Non government organizations. India has too
many this kind of organizations And hardly anybody knows how all these
organization are financed and how they use money.

from:  Kirit Shah
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 10:20 IST
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