The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday described the case filed by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch against social activist Teesta Setalvad as a “most vindictive act” by the Gujarat government and demanded that it be withdrawn.

On Sunday, a First Information Report was registered against Ms. Setalvad by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, accusing her of misusing foreign funds meant for helping the victims of the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre in which 69 Muslims were killed during the course of rioting in the State.

In a statement, the CPI (M) Polit Bureau said the FIR against Ms. Setalvad was designed as a form of punishment for helping Zakia Jafri and families of other victims of the 2002 violence get justice.

“It is a measure of the contempt for minimum democratic norms by the Modi government that it has time and again sought to suppress through threats, warnings, false FIRs and concocted stories all efforts by Teesta Setalvad and others to bring out the truth behind the role of the Chief Minister in the violence,” the statement said.

The Polit Bureau also found the timing of the FIR suspect, coming as it does at a time when Ms. Jafri is in the process of filing an appeal against the ruling of a lower court, which upheld the Special Investigation Team’s clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.