In an interview where she recounts in detail how she was arrested on the afternoon of June 25, Teesta Setalvad has revealed that the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad stormed into her house, pushing aside her husband and son. When she retreated to the bedroom, they stormed into the bedroom as well. She says two of the police officers struck her and she had bruises for days. She says for the first 50 minutes, they not only refused to tell her the grounds on which they had come to arrest her but even misled her by lying and pretending that they were going to take her to Santacruz Police Station to record a statement and then let her go. Setalvad added that the police squad comprised four males and two females.
Watch | Police Stormed My Bedroom, Struck Me, Had Bruises for Days: Teesta Setalvad The Wire
13, Oct 2022 | Karan Thapar
In an interview with Karan Thapar, the activist speaks in detail about the 63 days she spent at the Mahila Jail in Sabarmati for allegedly fabricating evidence in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases to implicate innocent persons.
The activist speaks about the conditions in the jail, how she kept her spirits up but often succumbed to depression and tears, the camaraderie that developed between the jail inmates, how together they cleaned the barracks and the toilet, the food, her battle to get access to the jail library and the effort she had to make to ensure she could meet her lawyers as often as the jail manual permits.
She also speaks about the mental state of other jail inmates who, as undertrials, have been locked away for four or even eight years, the impact on the inmates when they learnt that Bilkis Bano’s rapists, who murdered 14 members of her family, had got remission but others in Sabarmati jail, who have been waiting for remission, keep getting denied and the treatment of under-trials from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslim communities.
Please see the full video to learn about the activist’s experiences and the state of inmates.
The original piece may be read here