NEW DELHI: The Special Investigation Team responsible for the arrests of those accused in Gujarat riots has severely censured NGOs and social activist Teesta Setalvad who campaigned for the riot victims.
In a significant development, the SIT led by former CBI director R K Raghavan told the Supreme Court on Monday that the celebrated rights activist cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings.
Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, the SIT said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.
The SIT said it had been alleged in the Gulbarg Society case that Pandey, instead of taking measures to protect people facing the wrath of rioteers, was helping the mob. The truth was that he was helping with hospitalisation of riot victims and making arrangements for police bandobast, Gujarat counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, said quoting from the SIT report.
Rohtagi also said that 22 witnesses, who had submitted identical affidavits before various courts relating to riot incidents, were questioned by the SIT which found that they had been tutored and handed over the affidavits by Setalvad and that they had not actually witnessed the riot incidents.
The SIT also found no truth in the following incidents widely publicised by the NGOs:
* A pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons
* Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioteers at Naroda Patiya
* Police botching up investigation into the killing of British nationals, who were on a visit to Gujarat and unfortunately got caught in the riots
Rohtagi said: “On a reading of the report, it is clear that horrendous allegations made by the NGOs were false. Stereotyped affidavits were supplied by a social activist and the allegations made in them were found untrue.”
The SIT is as unbiased as it gets. Headed by ex-CBI Director R.K. Raghavan, it was set up by the Supreme Court last year and is accountable to no one but the SC judges.
What I cannot understand is, what is the source of this lady Setalvad’s power and influence in India? Which is the force that is supporting her? Why is she not being arrested for spreading rumours and causing mischief to increase animosity and hatred among two religious groups in times of social unrest? She has been caught filing sworn affidavits in the court through some gullible “witnesses.”
These affidavits have upon investigation by court-appointed investigators found to be complete lies. In other words, she has lied to the court upon oath (or caused other parties to do so), which is a criminal offense. Setalvad has some connections at high level in India which are saving her skin again and again and allowing her to continue her poisonous, anti-national work. Nobody knows who funds her NGO and whether it is an Indian or foreign patron. Persistent rumours are there that her funding comes directly from Saudi Arabian Sheikhs.
This “pregnant Muslim lady gangraped and her foetus ripped out” has been the standard spit-out of rabid Indian communists and Muslim propagandists regarding the Godhra riots. Now SIT has found that this story was cooked up by Setalvad and mischeviously repeated by Arundhati Roy at various forums to lend it currency. Why is this Setalvad lady still roaming around free in this country? What happened to the law of the land? Where have the Indian judges disappeared?
From wikipedia, I gather that she has been showered with award after award by the usual suspects — the Anglo Saxons (who curiously at the drop of a hat run to give an award to Indian Maoists and rabidly communal Muslim and Christian individuals) as well as the UPA government controlled by the communists and anti-Hindu forces. Here are Setalvad’s awards:
2004 M.A.Thomas National Human Rights Award from the Vigil India Movement.
Parliamentarians for Global Action ‘Defender of Democracy’ award, jointly with Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
the Nani A Palkhivala Award 2006.
The Nuernberg Human Rights Award 2003.
PUCL Journalism for human Rights Award 1993.
Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding Woman journalist 1993.
Maharana Mewar Foundation’s Hakim Khan Sur Award (jointly with Javed Anand) in 1999.
Human Rights Award OF the Dalit liberation Education Trust in 2000.
Pax Christi internationally Peace Award (jointly with Australian artist Eddi Kneebone).
Rajiv Gandhi Award (jointly with Harsh Mander) for highlighting and helping the victims of violence in February – July 2002 in Gujarat, India.
The organisations which have given this cheater, lier, rumour-monger and fabricator these awards should publicly apologise to the people of India. Her source of funding should be publicly investigated and exposed.