13, Feb 2015
THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 13 FEBRUARY, 2015
NEW DELHI: There is an outpouring of support for activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, following the rejection of an anticipatory bail plea by the Gujarat high court in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for Gujarat riot victims. A police team immediately showed up outside the couple’s house, unable to make an arrest as the matter was rushed to the Supreme Court within minutes of the high court’s verdict.
The Supreme Court, that had given a stay till Friday, has extended relief to Setalvad till February 19.
A statement by the Centre for Justice and Peace reiterated support for “our fellow trustee, Javed Anand, and secretary, Teesta Setalvad,” adding that “we stand by them during these difficult times.” “We have no doubt whatsoever regarding their honesty and integrity in the dealings of CJP. We are convinced that there is no factual basis to sustain the charge of embezzlement, and this has been asserted by the independent auditors of CJP,” the statement says.
Social media is flooded with thousands of comments in support of Setalvad and Anand, with online petitions garnering wide support. A petition on India Resists, states, in reference to the alleged charges against the couple, “Media stories suggest that the bail applications have been turned down because Setalavad and Anand were ‘not cooperating with the investigations’ and that prima facie ‘funds were used for private purpose’. It is a matter of record that they have submitted their original bank statements, balance sheets and audited accounts that completely disprove the allegations. Does this amount to non-cooperation or prima facie evidence of wrong-doing?” “We condemn this witchhunt and the false and malicious propaganda being circulated against them,” the petition concludes.
Another petition on Change.org, signed by hundreds of journalists, academics, lawyers, activists, students from all over the country reads:
“We stand in complete solidarity and support with Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand who have devoted a lifetime to upholding the secular values enshrined in the Constitution of India.
They have faced tremendous harassment, abuse, threat to life with the communal forces in power now moving to apprehend them for standing up against hate speech and hate crime and upholding the law of the land.
We condemn this use of force and intimidation and warn the governments of Gujarat and at the centre to desist from these strong arm tactics.”
The comments on the petition give reasons for signing, a few of which are represented below:
***This Article was originally published by The Citizen Bureau. It can be found here.