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Citizens for Peace has long admired Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand's

tireless work for communal harmony. Over the last twelve years both

Teesta and Javed have been at the fore-front of a sustained legal effort

to ensure that the perpetrators of communal violence in Gujarat in 2002

are brought before the courts and justice is done.

Citizens for Peace joins law abiding citizens across India in calling upon

the judiciary and bureaucracy to ensure that Teesta and Javed's democratic

rights are protected and that they are not burdened by false cases."

Gujarat riots: Participants in Ahmedabad meet

decry effort to harass

human rights activist Teesta Setalvad

 

rotest against efforts to harass Setalvad outside the hall
By Our Representative
A meeting of survivors of the 2002 Gujarat riots and citizens, organised at the Mehdi Jung Hall Paldi, Ahmedabad, by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Ahmedabad, saw participants in the jam-packed hall calling for social boycott of those who are posing themselves as witnesses to the case filed against top human rights activist Teesta Setalvad in a Gujarat court for alleged misappropriation of the funds of the NGO she is heading for purposes other than fighting cases of riot victims.
Setelvad has been fighting cases of Gujarat riot victims, and is backing Zakia Jafri,
wife of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who died during the attack on Gulberg Society
in Ahmedabad. Jafri seeking court permission to file an FIR against chief minister
Narendra Modi for inciting rioting, in which her husband was hacked to death.
At the meet, several speakers said, two former employees of Citizens for Peace
and Justice (CJP), who filed cases against Setalvad, should be face "social boycott",
amidst a strong approving applause from the 1,000 strong crowd.

Sairabehn Sandhani addressing the meet
The case relates to alleged diversion of funds meant for building a riots museum at the Gulberg Society, which was the target of attack during the riots, leading to the death of 69 persons, for personal gains. Setalvad has denied the charges, has said the case is being built up at the behest of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in order to divert attention from the appeal in the Gujarat high court to file case against Modi. The appeal seeks seeks rejection of the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) team report, which has said there is "not enough evidence" to prove Modi was involved.
Among those who spoke included former BJP chief minister Sureshbhai Mehta, who called for caution instead of getting swayed by emotion in the fight for communal peace, former DGP RB Sreekumar, Jesuit human rights activist Cedric Prakash, social activist Sofia Khan, and a survivor of the Gulberg massacre, Sairabehn Sandhi. Sandhi, who had lost several of her relatives in the Gulberg Society massacre, said there was "no truth" in the allegations against Setelvad, levelled by the ex-employees, who were allegedly "bribed" to go against the top activist.
The jampacked hall
In a statement from Mumbai, Setelvad said, “The cost of the struggle for dignity, justice and reparation, personal and material, is high. Twelve years down our success rate is 117 life imprisonments in major 2002 carnage cases, monitored by the Supreme Court where witness protection is still being given.”
She underlined, “In all cases (except the Bilqees Bano case in which 12 were convicted) CJP's team has been directly involved working with survivor eye witnesses, getting threatened and maligned. To top it all is the Zakia Jafri vs  Narendra Modi and Others case, now pending hearing in appeal in the Gujarat High Court.”
Setelvad recently got anticipatory bail from the Gujarat high court against her arrest in the misappropriation case.

 

Riot relief scam: Gujarat HC verdict today

by Anupam Chakravartty, Indian Express, 19 Jul 2010

The agony continues for survivors of the 2002 riots in Panderwada, whose houses were razed by killer mobs. Even the much-delayed compensation for them was systematically pilfered and they are left pinning their hopes on the judiciary now.

A taluka of 60-odd villages, Panderwala now awaits the Gujarat High Court's verdict — expected on Monday — on five taluka development officials who allegedly siphoned off funds from riot rehabilitation packages meant for the victims.

 

A growing politics of intolerance

by Nalin Mehta, Mumbai Mirror, 19 Jul 2010.

We make a great deal about India being the world's largest democracy but the fact is that the moderate space for dissent may actually be shrinking in our increasingly intolerant society. After independence, Nehru went out of his way – despite a life-long history of political animosity – to back Ambedkar as the architect of the Constitution and then appointed him Law Minister. Even when Ambedkar quit the government and subsequently lost a Lok Sabh election to the Congress, historical records indicate that Nehru quietly encouraged local Congress bigwigs to help his eventual election to the Rajya Sabha election from Mumbai. Though Ambedkar's views were anathema to much of the Brahmin-dominated Congress, Nehru recognised the value of protecting alternative points of view in a liberal polity.

 
The Kashmir stories

by David Devadas, Hindustan Times, 21 July 2010.

The Centre used propaganda to handle the recent uprising in the vally. This could lead to a fresh and more lethal insurgency. The most dangerous divergence in narratives is that while Kashmiris believe that stones-for-bullets constitutes a non-violent response, the rest of India sees pictures of security men cowering before violent mobs. If these perspectives finally converge in these boys picking up guns, the fresh insurgency would be far more lethal than that of the 90s.

 
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