24, May 2018 | CJP Team
CJP is appalled at the Gujarat Police’s predatory efforts to use any means necessary, including the most profoundly foul ones, to somehow incarcerate human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand in yet another false case. Even after the Bombay High Court granted them transit bail and the Supreme Court has extended protection until May 31, the rejection of anticipatory bail by the Sessions Court, poses a serious threat to their lives.
Our Appeal to You
As a vindictive state and administration attempts to silence us, we appeal to you to support us.
You can visit our website CJP.org.in and support our cause by contributing generously. Donate now! Your donations will help us continue our struggle for justice against impunity, in the courts and beyond. With your support, we will appeal the Naroda Patiya judgement, we carry the Zakia Jafri case forward, we fight in the courts against the false cases on Adivasi forest dwellers claiming land and protesting it being snatched away.
You can also donate a Tweet and help us spread the truth. Share our story on social media and for once help defeat fake news!
Why are Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand being targeted?
Teesta Setalvad, a journalist and educationist, is CJP Secretary and also a founder of Sabrang and KHOJ. Her husband, Javed Anand, a journalist himself, is not only a CJP office bearer and co-founder of Sabrang, but also a founding member of Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy. Both, have been committed to the idea of a more equal and inclusive India where harmony prevails and justice is accessible to everyone irrespective of their religion, caste, gender, ethnicity or wealth. It was with this vision that they started their magazine Communalism Combat and founded CJP, Sabrang and KHOJ.
A vicious vendetta campaign has been unleashed against the couple because they have been responsible for exposing the criminal conduct of a section of the Gujarat Police during the anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002. Setalvad and Anand have also exposed the role of several powerful politicians as well as others who are affiliated with right wing extremist groups.
While Teesta Setalvad has been hounded since 2004, Javed Anand was also pulled into this maelstrom in 2015 when the vendetta campaign intensified. What was first dictated by Gandhinagar is now being orchestrated and executed by New Delhi. Gujarat Police, MHA and CBI, have all been deployed against the human rights defenders who gave carried on their struggle for justice despite this politically motivated hounding.
We will Never Back Down
But this has never stopped us from surging forth in our quest for justice. In fact, we have expanded our areas of work. Now we are also fighting for the rights of Dalit Activists like Chandrashekhar Azad who have been incarcerated under trumped up charges. We are fighting to have false cases against Adivasi forest workers dropped in in Sonebhadra in Uttar Pradesh where they have led a long and peaceful struggle for land rights. Our Four Pillars include Minority Rights, Child Rights, Criminal Justice Reforms and Freedom of Expression. You can read more about our work here and become a member.
Insidious Agenda, Absurd Tactics
Take the present case for instance. The KHOJ project began in 2010 and got over well before Jan 2014 when the bank accounts were frozen due to another fake case based on false allegations. The only evidence of alleged embezzlement is in the bank accounts. If the accounts in question are frozen, how exactly can Setalvad tamper with evidence? This is just a ploy to get police custody. Normally custodial interrogation is not required in cases such as this. Therefore, there is a very real possibility of misuse of this custody to use coercive tactics like torture and intimidation. Custodial interrogation is an invitation to torture, even death.
Malicious propaganda has been unleashed using certain media houses who only report and publish one sided stories. These stories are worded in a manner that vilifies Setalvad and discredits her work. Meanwhile, Setalvad and Anand have nothing to hide. They have individually and collectively responded, making their accounts public. They have also cooperated fully with an investigative process that reeks of a witch hunt. Even in the present case we have provided all documents and details requested by the Crime Branch.
CJP and Sabrang deny all the false allegations against Setalvad and Anand. We categorically state that all allegations of embezzlement, misappropriation, witness tutoring, filing of false affidavits, publishing communally inflammatory content or diverting donations meant for Gujarat riot survivors for splurging on personal luxuries… are all false and baseless.
CJP appeals to all right thinking citizens to intervene and denounce this institutional bullying and harassment. We appeal for creative and peaceful protests across the country. Use your voice to defend the defenders!