Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Pravin Togadia on Saturday filed a criminal complaint with the police against Zakia Jaffrey, wife of the slain former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffrey, and her son Tanvir Jaffrey for “attempting to create communal hatred and endangering the peace in Gujarat.”

Mr. Togadia came to the Ellisbridge police station with a large number of VHP supporters and registered the complaint, which was in retaliation for the one lodged by Mr. Tanvir Jaffrey with Director-General of Police S.S. Khandwawala against him for “threatening” his 76-year-old mother (Ms. Zakia Jaffrey) and the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace general secretary, Teesta Setalvad.

On May 10, after he responded to a summons by the Special Investigation Team — constituted by the Supreme Court to go into some of the more macabre incidents during the 2002 communal riots on a petition filed by Ms. Zakia Jaffrey — Mr. Togadia said he would “teach Ms. Jaffrey and Ms. Setalvad a lesson at an appropriate time.”

Now, after filing his complaint, Mr. Togadia told journalists that he suspected that the Jaffreys were trying to “provoke communal violence” in the State. He said he had been summoned by the SIT because of a “false complaint” by Ms. Jaffrey. “I then said [that] at an appropriate time I will take appropriate action against them. This is my democratic and legal right.” In his complaint, he sought to know “when, where and how he had threatened her.” Mr.Togadia said the Jaffreys “should be arrested for conspiring to provoke communal violence.” The police, however, said that from Mr. Togadia's complaint, the only charge that could be labelled against Mr. Tanvir Jaffrey was defamation. “During the course of the investigation if we find any other charge valid, those clauses will be added to the complaint.”