Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang

AltNews’s Mohammed Zubair remanded to four-day police custody

Delhi police arrested the journalist based on a complaint against a 2018 tweet

28 Jun 2022

Mohammed ZubairImage Courtesy: h10news.in

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on June 28, 2022 remanded AltNews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair to four days police custody for a tweet posted four years ago. This is Zubair’s sixth FIR over the last two years.

As per the complaint received by Delhi police’s cyber unity, Zubair is charged for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different groups and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings. The complainant is a social media user ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ who has not disclosed his identity but alleged that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.”

The tweet in question is a screenshot of the 1983 Hindi movie Kissi Se Na Kehna wherein a hotel named ‘Honeymoon’ is repainted to read ‘Hanuman.’ Pointing out that such tweets are abundant on the internet, Zubair’s legal representative Vrinda Grover called the entire case to be bordering on “absurdity”.

When the police accused Zubair of having edited the image, LiveLaw quoted Grover as asking, “Is it their case that if it's the same tweet, many others have said that too, the only distinction between them and my client is a distinction of faith of my name, my work?. Is that the reason why I am being targeted?”

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria ordered, “The submissions with respect to photograph which is a part of the tweet in question being a part of the movie Kissi se Na Kehna of the year 1983 are also of no use to the accused at this stage.”

She granted police remand adding that Zubair’s mobile phone or laptop may be recovered from his Bangalore residence and that he has remained non-cooperative.

Mohammed Zubair

Mohammed Zubair

On June 27, the cyber police called Zubair from Bengaluru for investigation in a 2020 case. In September 2020, Zubair was booked under the POCSO Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Later, the High Court gave him protection against arrest. However, this time the police said that the journalist was arrested under a different FIR; Zubair's friends and colleagues say it was without prior notice.

Narrating the whole ordeal on his social media, Sinha said that the police failed to produce a copy of the FIR or remand application – a fact reiterated by Grover as well. The DIGIPUB News India Foundation condemned the arrest, recollecting how he was previously booked for calling three Hindutva supremacists “hatemongers”.

“In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to exercise the freedom of speech and expression, it is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state,” said the DIGIPUB in their statement.

Zubair’s arrest comes days after activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was picked up by the Mumbai police on June 25. On that same day former Gujarat State DGP R. B. Sreekumar was also arrested. The series of arrests have enraged many free speech proponents across the world.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by vchitra.in (@vchitra.in)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

Related:

First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

AltNews’s Mohammed Zubair remanded to four-day police custody

Delhi police arrested the journalist based on a complaint against a 2018 tweet

Mohammed ZubairImage Courtesy: h10news.in

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on June 28, 2022 remanded AltNews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair to four days police custody for a tweet posted four years ago. This is Zubair’s sixth FIR over the last two years.

As per the complaint received by Delhi police’s cyber unity, Zubair is charged for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different groups and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings. The complainant is a social media user ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ who has not disclosed his identity but alleged that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.”

The tweet in question is a screenshot of the 1983 Hindi movie Kissi Se Na Kehna wherein a hotel named ‘Honeymoon’ is repainted to read ‘Hanuman.’ Pointing out that such tweets are abundant on the internet, Zubair’s legal representative Vrinda Grover called the entire case to be bordering on “absurdity”.

When the police accused Zubair of having edited the image, LiveLaw quoted Grover as asking, “Is it their case that if it's the same tweet, many others have said that too, the only distinction between them and my client is a distinction of faith of my name, my work?. Is that the reason why I am being targeted?”

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria ordered, “The submissions with respect to photograph which is a part of the tweet in question being a part of the movie Kissi se Na Kehna of the year 1983 are also of no use to the accused at this stage.”

She granted police remand adding that Zubair’s mobile phone or laptop may be recovered from his Bangalore residence and that he has remained non-cooperative.

Mohammed Zubair

Mohammed Zubair

On June 27, the cyber police called Zubair from Bengaluru for investigation in a 2020 case. In September 2020, Zubair was booked under the POCSO Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Later, the High Court gave him protection against arrest. However, this time the police said that the journalist was arrested under a different FIR; Zubair's friends and colleagues say it was without prior notice.

Narrating the whole ordeal on his social media, Sinha said that the police failed to produce a copy of the FIR or remand application – a fact reiterated by Grover as well. The DIGIPUB News India Foundation condemned the arrest, recollecting how he was previously booked for calling three Hindutva supremacists “hatemongers”.

“In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to exercise the freedom of speech and expression, it is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state,” said the DIGIPUB in their statement.

Zubair’s arrest comes days after activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was picked up by the Mumbai police on June 25. On that same day former Gujarat State DGP R. B. Sreekumar was also arrested. The series of arrests have enraged many free speech proponents across the world.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by vchitra.in (@vchitra.in)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

Related:

First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Teesta doing okay so far in police custody: Javed Anand

Setalvad’s activist-journalist husband is being allowed to meet her; she has access to medication

28 Jun 2022

Free Teesta
Image courtesy: scroll.in

In some comforting news coming in from Ahmedabad, Teesta Setalvad is doing okay while in custody of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch. Her husband Javed Anand is allowed to meet her once a day.

“I met her just before they took her for the mandatory medical check-up. She appeared fine,” said Anand. “I am allowed to meet her once a day. She has no complaints about the food and is also sleeping okay. When I meet her, it is in a room with a table and chair, with police personnel nearby,”he added.

Readers would recall that on June 25, just before a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) whisked her away to Ahmedabad, Teesta Setalvad had submitted a handwritten complaint against two police officials for barging into her home and physically assaulting her when she demanded to speak to her lawyer. In her complaint, the 60-year-old human rights defender who is also the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had mentioned that she had sustained a bruise on her hand due to the assault and feared for her life.

After Anand met her, Setalvad’s lawyers were also allowed to meet her.

This should bring some relief to activists and journalists who have been worried about Setalvad, who is clearly being targeted via a retributive prosecution enabled by observations of the Supreme Court in the judgment where the court dismissed the petition by Zakia Jafri. CJP, through Setalvad was the second petitioner in the case where an appeal was made for a thorough investigation into the role of people in positions of power at the time of the 2002 Gujarat post-Godhra carnage in allowing the violence to continue unabated, via acts of omission and commission.

Related:

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad
Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars
Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Teesta doing okay so far in police custody: Javed Anand

Setalvad’s activist-journalist husband is being allowed to meet her; she has access to medication

Free Teesta
Image courtesy: scroll.in

In some comforting news coming in from Ahmedabad, Teesta Setalvad is doing okay while in custody of the Ahmedabad Crime Branch. Her husband Javed Anand is allowed to meet her once a day.

“I met her just before they took her for the mandatory medical check-up. She appeared fine,” said Anand. “I am allowed to meet her once a day. She has no complaints about the food and is also sleeping okay. When I meet her, it is in a room with a table and chair, with police personnel nearby,”he added.

Readers would recall that on June 25, just before a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) whisked her away to Ahmedabad, Teesta Setalvad had submitted a handwritten complaint against two police officials for barging into her home and physically assaulting her when she demanded to speak to her lawyer. In her complaint, the 60-year-old human rights defender who is also the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had mentioned that she had sustained a bruise on her hand due to the assault and feared for her life.

After Anand met her, Setalvad’s lawyers were also allowed to meet her.

This should bring some relief to activists and journalists who have been worried about Setalvad, who is clearly being targeted via a retributive prosecution enabled by observations of the Supreme Court in the judgment where the court dismissed the petition by Zakia Jafri. CJP, through Setalvad was the second petitioner in the case where an appeal was made for a thorough investigation into the role of people in positions of power at the time of the 2002 Gujarat post-Godhra carnage in allowing the violence to continue unabated, via acts of omission and commission.

Related:

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad
Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars
Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Drop charges against Teesta Setalvad: Human Rights Watch

The organisation demands that the Government of India stop harassing activists for defending human rights

28 Jun 2022

Free Teesta
Image Courtesy:hrw.org

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on June 28, 2022 demanded that Indian authorities immediately release human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, drop all charges against her, and stop their relentless attacks against activists.

The non-profit organisation condemned the Indian government for charging Setalvad and two former senior police officers (turned whistle-blowers) for criminal conspiracy and forgery while pursuing accountability for the 2002 Gujarat riots. Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested on June 25. The journalist is further accused of filing false charges and fabricating false evidence with an intent to convict a person of a capital offense.

“These arrests are clearly reprisals for pursuing justice for Gujarat riot victims and attempting to hold those who were in power accountable. No one can deny that the violence occurred, or that there needs to be justice, and yet the authorities have been pursuing criminal charges against Setalvad for years now in an attempt to silence her,” said HRW South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly.

60-year-old Setalvad is well-known for her work in pursuing justice for the victims and survivors of the 2002 Gujarat violence. The activist sought an investigation into the role of senior state government and police officials in allowing the carnage to continue unabated leading to the massacre of over 1,000 people. Now, in wake of observations by the Supreme Court in the judgment dismissing the petition, the police have filed charges against former police officers Sanjiv Bhatt and R.B. Sreekumar, who spoke out about complicity by officials during the riots. While Sreekumar was arrested in 2022, Bhatt was convicted of murder in 2019 in an allegedly politically-motivated case dating back 30 years.

Based on submissions by activists including Setalvad, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had strongly condemned the Gujarat government's failure to deliver justice. The Supreme Court had also ordered new investigations, and directed the government to provide protection to witnesses and victims.

Regarding all this Ganguly said, “It was only because of efforts of activists like Setalvad who worked with victims and witnesses, that justice has been possible for mass violence in Gujarat. Setalvad’s arrest is part of escalating attacks on civil society and human rights activists in India, meant to send a chilling message to all who dare to seek accountability.”

A 2002 Human Rights Watch report on the riots had found that Gujarat authorities had failed to take adequate steps to end the violence, and interfered in investigations by targeting activists. In 2005, the US government denied Modi a diplomatic visa and revoked his existing 10-year business or tourist visa, citing violations of religious freedom.

But the Supreme Court, on June 24, dismissed the Zakia Jafri case where the widow of MP Ehsan Jafri challenged the SIT report that absolved top state government and police officials of role in the riots. Further, the judgement stated that the plea was filed “to keep the pot boiling … for ulterior design”. The court said that “all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law.” A day later, Home Affairs MinisterAmit Shah lashed out at Setalvad by saying that she and her organisation had “given baseless information about the riots to the police.”

While being taken away by the police on Saturday, Setalvad submitted a handwritten complaint to the Santacruz Police Station, saying, “I seriously fear for my life given the animosity of the Gujarat state police.”

HRW notes that the Gujarat authorities have been hounding Setalvad for nearly two decades, filing a slew of false charges (many remain pending) and misusing the criminal justice system. At times like in 2004, the Supreme Court rejected an allegation that she coerced a witness to give false evidence. Similarly, in February 2012, the Supreme Court looked into a case that accused her of illegally exhuming bodies of riot victims and it was a “100 percent spurious case to victimize” her and that such a case “does no credit to the state of Gujarat in any way.”

The HRW said it documented the stalled efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of riots in Gujarat and found that activists and lawyers involved were harassed and intimidated.

“It has taken repeated interventions by the Supreme Court following appeals by activists and victims’ families to order re-investigations, oversee independent inquiries in some cases, or shift trials out of Gujarat to ensure progress toward justice. Over 100 people have been convicted in these cases, although many have been released pending appeal,” said the HRW.

Aside from the HRW, Setalvad’s arrest has prompted mass protest from political parties, media associations, and human rights groups alike. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor expressed deep concern over the arrest and said, “Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by the Indian state.”

Similarly, the Working Group of Human Rights in India and the United Nations (WGHR), Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) and the International Union of Left Publishers also voiced solidarity with the veteran activist. This is aside from the overwhelming protests across India in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ranchi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dhulia, Raipur and many other cities. Setalvad and Sreekumar will be brought before the magistrate for hearing on July 2.

Related:

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad
First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars
Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1
Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad
Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists
PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home
I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Drop charges against Teesta Setalvad: Human Rights Watch

The organisation demands that the Government of India stop harassing activists for defending human rights

Free Teesta
Image Courtesy:hrw.org

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on June 28, 2022 demanded that Indian authorities immediately release human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, drop all charges against her, and stop their relentless attacks against activists.

The non-profit organisation condemned the Indian government for charging Setalvad and two former senior police officers (turned whistle-blowers) for criminal conspiracy and forgery while pursuing accountability for the 2002 Gujarat riots. Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested on June 25. The journalist is further accused of filing false charges and fabricating false evidence with an intent to convict a person of a capital offense.

“These arrests are clearly reprisals for pursuing justice for Gujarat riot victims and attempting to hold those who were in power accountable. No one can deny that the violence occurred, or that there needs to be justice, and yet the authorities have been pursuing criminal charges against Setalvad for years now in an attempt to silence her,” said HRW South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly.

60-year-old Setalvad is well-known for her work in pursuing justice for the victims and survivors of the 2002 Gujarat violence. The activist sought an investigation into the role of senior state government and police officials in allowing the carnage to continue unabated leading to the massacre of over 1,000 people. Now, in wake of observations by the Supreme Court in the judgment dismissing the petition, the police have filed charges against former police officers Sanjiv Bhatt and R.B. Sreekumar, who spoke out about complicity by officials during the riots. While Sreekumar was arrested in 2022, Bhatt was convicted of murder in 2019 in an allegedly politically-motivated case dating back 30 years.

Based on submissions by activists including Setalvad, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had strongly condemned the Gujarat government's failure to deliver justice. The Supreme Court had also ordered new investigations, and directed the government to provide protection to witnesses and victims.

Regarding all this Ganguly said, “It was only because of efforts of activists like Setalvad who worked with victims and witnesses, that justice has been possible for mass violence in Gujarat. Setalvad’s arrest is part of escalating attacks on civil society and human rights activists in India, meant to send a chilling message to all who dare to seek accountability.”

A 2002 Human Rights Watch report on the riots had found that Gujarat authorities had failed to take adequate steps to end the violence, and interfered in investigations by targeting activists. In 2005, the US government denied Modi a diplomatic visa and revoked his existing 10-year business or tourist visa, citing violations of religious freedom.

But the Supreme Court, on June 24, dismissed the Zakia Jafri case where the widow of MP Ehsan Jafri challenged the SIT report that absolved top state government and police officials of role in the riots. Further, the judgement stated that the plea was filed “to keep the pot boiling … for ulterior design”. The court said that “all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law.” A day later, Home Affairs MinisterAmit Shah lashed out at Setalvad by saying that she and her organisation had “given baseless information about the riots to the police.”

While being taken away by the police on Saturday, Setalvad submitted a handwritten complaint to the Santacruz Police Station, saying, “I seriously fear for my life given the animosity of the Gujarat state police.”

HRW notes that the Gujarat authorities have been hounding Setalvad for nearly two decades, filing a slew of false charges (many remain pending) and misusing the criminal justice system. At times like in 2004, the Supreme Court rejected an allegation that she coerced a witness to give false evidence. Similarly, in February 2012, the Supreme Court looked into a case that accused her of illegally exhuming bodies of riot victims and it was a “100 percent spurious case to victimize” her and that such a case “does no credit to the state of Gujarat in any way.”

The HRW said it documented the stalled efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of riots in Gujarat and found that activists and lawyers involved were harassed and intimidated.

“It has taken repeated interventions by the Supreme Court following appeals by activists and victims’ families to order re-investigations, oversee independent inquiries in some cases, or shift trials out of Gujarat to ensure progress toward justice. Over 100 people have been convicted in these cases, although many have been released pending appeal,” said the HRW.

Aside from the HRW, Setalvad’s arrest has prompted mass protest from political parties, media associations, and human rights groups alike. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor expressed deep concern over the arrest and said, “Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by the Indian state.”

Similarly, the Working Group of Human Rights in India and the United Nations (WGHR), Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) and the International Union of Left Publishers also voiced solidarity with the veteran activist. This is aside from the overwhelming protests across India in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ranchi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dhulia, Raipur and many other cities. Setalvad and Sreekumar will be brought before the magistrate for hearing on July 2.

Related:

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad
First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars
Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1
Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad
Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists
PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home
I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!

Police called the Alt-News co-founder in for questioning in a 2020 case but then arrested him for a 2018 tweet

28 Jun 2022

Alt News
Image Courtesy: newslaundry.com

Delhi police arrested yet another journalist, AltNews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair, on June 27, 2022 based on a tweet posted in 2018. A cyber unit arrested Zubair for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. This is just two days after activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was picked up by the Gujarat ATS on June 25.

The complaint filed by social media user ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ included charges such as promoting enmity between different groups and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings. This is already the sixth FIR against the journalist over the last two years.Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha tweeted that although the police sought seven days of police custody, the duty magistrate allowed custody for only one day with half an hour visitation for the lawyer.

Sinha also pointed out how the police rushed Zubair to the magistrate’s house in Burari on late Monday night rather than bring him to a regular court on June 28, asking, “I wonder, why is the Delhi police in such [a] tearing hurry to bring Zubair all the way from Dwarka to the residence of a duty magistrate in Burari at this hour? Why not just produce him before the regular court tomorrow before the 24 hours end that is not till tomorrow afternoon?”

On Monday, the cyber police called Zubair from Bengaluru for investigation in a 2020 case. In September 2020, Zubair was booked under the POCSO Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Later, the High Court gave him protection against an arrest. However, this time the police said that the journalist was arrested under a different FIR without prior notice.

Narrating the whole ordeal on social media, Sinha said that the police failed to produce a copy of the FIR or remand application. After a medical examination, Zubair was taken to an undisclosed location in a police van although “no police person [was] wearing any name tag,” tweeted Sinha.

The DIGIPUB News India Foundation condemned the arrest, recollecting how he was previously booked for calling three Hindutva supremacists “hatemongers”.

“In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to exercise the freedom of speech and expression, it is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state,” said the DIGIPUB in their statement.

Meanwhile, DCP (Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations – IFSO) K. P. S. Malhotra said, in a press release, that Zubair had tweeted a questionable image of God Hanuman with a purpose to “deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.” The statement said that such tweets cater to a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering, possibly injuring communal harmony.

Further, he said that when the cyber united was notified about the “objectionable tweet” and his followers’ attempts to create “a series of debates/ hate mongering”, officers questioned him and found his role objectionable.

“He was evasive on the questions and neither provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation... During investigation, the conduct of Mohammed Zubair was found questionable, which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel the conspiracy in this matter,” said Malhotra.

Zubair was among the first people to point out suspended BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments against Prophet Mohammed and Islam during a Times Now debate. The hate speech spewed by Sharma sparked widespread protests not only within India but caused outrage among the Gulf countries as well.

Now, Zubair’s arrest coupled with earlier arrests of Setalvad and former Gujarat State DGP R. B. Sreekumar has sparked considerable anger among the activist, journalist groups and even politicians.

 

 

While Zubair was arrested for the 2018 tweet, Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested for criminal conspiracy and forgery following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Zakia Jafri case. Both these instances have been viewed by citizens as an example of muzzling dissent. Accordingly, youth groups also voice their solidarity with Zubair. Solidarity art is being shared with hashtags like “Free Zubair” or “Stand With Zubair”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by vchitra.in (@vchitra.in)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

Related:

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!

Police called the Alt-News co-founder in for questioning in a 2020 case but then arrested him for a 2018 tweet

Alt News
Image Courtesy: newslaundry.com

Delhi police arrested yet another journalist, AltNews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair, on June 27, 2022 based on a tweet posted in 2018. A cyber unit arrested Zubair for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. This is just two days after activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was picked up by the Gujarat ATS on June 25.

The complaint filed by social media user ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ included charges such as promoting enmity between different groups and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings. This is already the sixth FIR against the journalist over the last two years.Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha tweeted that although the police sought seven days of police custody, the duty magistrate allowed custody for only one day with half an hour visitation for the lawyer.

Sinha also pointed out how the police rushed Zubair to the magistrate’s house in Burari on late Monday night rather than bring him to a regular court on June 28, asking, “I wonder, why is the Delhi police in such [a] tearing hurry to bring Zubair all the way from Dwarka to the residence of a duty magistrate in Burari at this hour? Why not just produce him before the regular court tomorrow before the 24 hours end that is not till tomorrow afternoon?”

On Monday, the cyber police called Zubair from Bengaluru for investigation in a 2020 case. In September 2020, Zubair was booked under the POCSO Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Later, the High Court gave him protection against an arrest. However, this time the police said that the journalist was arrested under a different FIR without prior notice.

Narrating the whole ordeal on social media, Sinha said that the police failed to produce a copy of the FIR or remand application. After a medical examination, Zubair was taken to an undisclosed location in a police van although “no police person [was] wearing any name tag,” tweeted Sinha.

The DIGIPUB News India Foundation condemned the arrest, recollecting how he was previously booked for calling three Hindutva supremacists “hatemongers”.

“In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to exercise the freedom of speech and expression, it is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state,” said the DIGIPUB in their statement.

Meanwhile, DCP (Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations – IFSO) K. P. S. Malhotra said, in a press release, that Zubair had tweeted a questionable image of God Hanuman with a purpose to “deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.” The statement said that such tweets cater to a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering, possibly injuring communal harmony.

Further, he said that when the cyber united was notified about the “objectionable tweet” and his followers’ attempts to create “a series of debates/ hate mongering”, officers questioned him and found his role objectionable.

“He was evasive on the questions and neither provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation... During investigation, the conduct of Mohammed Zubair was found questionable, which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel the conspiracy in this matter,” said Malhotra.

Zubair was among the first people to point out suspended BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments against Prophet Mohammed and Islam during a Times Now debate. The hate speech spewed by Sharma sparked widespread protests not only within India but caused outrage among the Gulf countries as well.

Now, Zubair’s arrest coupled with earlier arrests of Setalvad and former Gujarat State DGP R. B. Sreekumar has sparked considerable anger among the activist, journalist groups and even politicians.

 

 

While Zubair was arrested for the 2018 tweet, Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested for criminal conspiracy and forgery following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Zakia Jafri case. Both these instances have been viewed by citizens as an example of muzzling dissent. Accordingly, youth groups also voice their solidarity with Zubair. Solidarity art is being shared with hashtags like “Free Zubair” or “Stand With Zubair”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by vchitra.in (@vchitra.in)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

Related:

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad

With each day, support for the veteran journalist and activist continues to grow

28 Jun 2022

Teesta SetalvadImage: PTI


It’s been just three days since activist and Citizens for Peace and Justice (CJP) secretary Teesta Setalvad was picked up from her Mumbai home and whisked away to Ahmedabad by a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) after a brief pit stop at the Santacruz Police Station. But statements of support are pouring in from different national and international quarters.

The Working Group of Human Rights in India and the United Nations (WGHR) on June 27, 2022 expressed deep concern about the arrest of member Teesta Setalvad by the Government of India.

“It reflects an aggressive abuse of power and law by the State machinery, in grave breach of the rights and freedoms guaranteed to citizens under the Indian Constitution. This turn of events has also raised questions about the Government's commitments to human rights and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), not just domestically but also at the global level,” said the WGHR in a statement.

Setalvad was picked up shortly after the Supreme Court judgement in the Zakia Jafri case endorsed action against people who allegedly brought about a malicious prosecution. But according to Setalvad, she wasn’t shown a copy of either the warrant or the First Information Report (FIR) until her lawyer arrived. Setalvad says she was roughed up by members of the Gujarat ATS when they barged into her home on June 25. Setalvad now stands accused of criminal conspiracy, forgery and giving or fabricating false evidence among other IPC sections. Two former police officers, RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt have also been named as her co-conspirators in the FIR. While Bhatt is already in jail under trumped-up charges in a custodial death case, Sreekumar was arrested shortly after Setalvad was picked up.

Condemning this move, the WGHR hailed Setalvad for fighting tirelessly for victims of communal violence. The WGHR called the arrest a retaliation and reprisal for seeking accountability from those in positions of power and for standing with victims of the 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Many notable Indian activists such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) General Secretary V. Suresh, National Association of People’s Movements (NAPM) Convenor Medha Patkar, former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas, and thousands of others signed a statement condemning the government’s prosecution of the activist and former IPS officers. They say, “The state has now used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of state callousness and complicity. It is truly an Orwellian situation of the lie becoming the truth, when those who fought to establish the truth of what happened in the Gujarat genocide of 2002 are being targeted.”

The signatories pointed out that the FIR marks the period of offence from January 1, 2002 to June 25, 2022. This means that every effort for justice for victims of 2002, be it petitions filed in the High Court, Supreme Court or the Magistrates’ court, is sought to be criminalised.

“The ordinary process of litigation to make the state accountable by establishing guilt of those accused of serious crimes is tarred with the criminal brush,” said the activists, adding, “We condemn this naked and brazen attempt to silence and criminalize those who stand for constitutional values and who have struggled against very difficult odds to try to achieve justice for the victims of 2002. We demand that this false and vindictive FIR be taken back unconditionally and Teesta Setalvad and others detained under this FIR be released immediately,” said signatories.

Similarly, the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) pointed out that none of the provisions against the activist are cognisable. As such, the Gujarat ATS requires court permission and a warrant to arrest a person.

“The ATS’s dubious explanation at the time that Setalvad was not arrested but detained for questioning also holds no water. A 60-year-old activist with strong roots in the community, Setalvad is not a flight risk and should be questioned by female officers in her home as per law,” said the NWMI in a press statement.

It demanded that the police withdraw the FIR against Setalvad. Members called it an attempt to intimidate and silence citizens seeking to uncover the truth about the communal violence. They also expressed solidarity with Setalvad and called upon the Gujarat government to protect activists pursuing legal and legitimate means for justice instead of browbeating them.

Regarding the Zakia Jafri case itself, NWMI said the petitioners followed due process but the apex court took a long time to dismiss their petition. For this reason, the delay cannot be considered an abuse on the part of the petitioners. Instead, it pointed out how the court’s observation was utilised by the Gujarat police to put at risk all citizens pursuing claims against the government.

Along with rights groups, journalists’ bodies also called for protests against the witch-hunt. In a joint statement, the National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) condemned the “ugly and motivated, hasty arrest” of Setalvad. NAJ President S. K. Pande and DUJ General Secretary Sujata Modhak among others said, “The arrests smack of an increasingly visible undeclared Emergency that is increasingly becoming visible in continued attacks not only on the freedom of the press but on the democratic rights of citizens which are being bulldozed. Simultaneously, the police seem to be increasingly utilised in witch-hunting of selected persons.”

Members lamented that Teesta Setalvad, a veteran journalist and human rights activist is treated as a criminal.

The New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) said in its solidarity statement, “Democracy is a struggle between people and the state in which people challenge government and its agencies for violating and undermining their rights, very often with complete impunity.”

It argued that such circumstances allow people to approach courts that are supposed to be independent arbiter in case of denial of people’s rights. Yet the apex court judgement said a campaign for justice and accountability in this ‘democracy’ is not an inalienable right.

“The Supreme [Court] has handed the government the license to act against anyone who stands up to power and questions it. It has in fact said the government is entitled to be vindictive if the most powerful in the land are questioned,” said General Secretary Gautam Modi. Regarding claims of lack of cooperation from Setalvad and Sreekumar, Modi said that neither were asked to join a police investigation and so the question of cooperation does not arise.

“Lack of cooperation has become part of the unwritten police manual. Courts for the most part allow such arrests to go unchallenged allowing a vindictive authoritarian government to ensure that process of criminal investigation is the punishment itself. It has now become an unwritten element of our constitution that one is guilty unless proved to be otherwise,” he said.

The NTUI has demanded the withdrawal of the FIR against the two people and asked that the Supreme Court ruling be rescinded. It called upon all progressive organisations to join forces in seeking a comprehensive review of the case. Farmers umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) too supported this demand.

Another group, aside from rights collectives and unions, to support Setalvad was the International Union of Left Publishers. In 2017, LeftWord Books published the memoir of Teesta Setalvad, Foot Soldier of the Constitution. The book details the work of Teesta Setalvad’s quest to create a just world, a world that remembers the atrocities of the past to not repeat such violence in the future.

“All those who have tried to make the case for the government’s role in the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat faced sustained persecution. The Indian Supreme Court has now weighed in and suggested – in very strong words – that Setalvad should be investigated for her role in the campaign to bring justice to the victims and survivors,” said LeftWord in a press statement.

The publishers called upon the government to cease its persecution of writers such as the journalist.

Related:

Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars

Chorus demanding justice for Teesta Setalvad grows louder!

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

 

Human Rights organisations issue statements of support for Teesta Setalvad

With each day, support for the veteran journalist and activist continues to grow

Teesta SetalvadImage: PTI


It’s been just three days since activist and Citizens for Peace and Justice (CJP) secretary Teesta Setalvad was picked up from her Mumbai home and whisked away to Ahmedabad by a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) after a brief pit stop at the Santacruz Police Station. But statements of support are pouring in from different national and international quarters.

The Working Group of Human Rights in India and the United Nations (WGHR) on June 27, 2022 expressed deep concern about the arrest of member Teesta Setalvad by the Government of India.

“It reflects an aggressive abuse of power and law by the State machinery, in grave breach of the rights and freedoms guaranteed to citizens under the Indian Constitution. This turn of events has also raised questions about the Government's commitments to human rights and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), not just domestically but also at the global level,” said the WGHR in a statement.

Setalvad was picked up shortly after the Supreme Court judgement in the Zakia Jafri case endorsed action against people who allegedly brought about a malicious prosecution. But according to Setalvad, she wasn’t shown a copy of either the warrant or the First Information Report (FIR) until her lawyer arrived. Setalvad says she was roughed up by members of the Gujarat ATS when they barged into her home on June 25. Setalvad now stands accused of criminal conspiracy, forgery and giving or fabricating false evidence among other IPC sections. Two former police officers, RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt have also been named as her co-conspirators in the FIR. While Bhatt is already in jail under trumped-up charges in a custodial death case, Sreekumar was arrested shortly after Setalvad was picked up.

Condemning this move, the WGHR hailed Setalvad for fighting tirelessly for victims of communal violence. The WGHR called the arrest a retaliation and reprisal for seeking accountability from those in positions of power and for standing with victims of the 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Many notable Indian activists such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) General Secretary V. Suresh, National Association of People’s Movements (NAPM) Convenor Medha Patkar, former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas, and thousands of others signed a statement condemning the government’s prosecution of the activist and former IPS officers. They say, “The state has now used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of state callousness and complicity. It is truly an Orwellian situation of the lie becoming the truth, when those who fought to establish the truth of what happened in the Gujarat genocide of 2002 are being targeted.”

The signatories pointed out that the FIR marks the period of offence from January 1, 2002 to June 25, 2022. This means that every effort for justice for victims of 2002, be it petitions filed in the High Court, Supreme Court or the Magistrates’ court, is sought to be criminalised.

“The ordinary process of litigation to make the state accountable by establishing guilt of those accused of serious crimes is tarred with the criminal brush,” said the activists, adding, “We condemn this naked and brazen attempt to silence and criminalize those who stand for constitutional values and who have struggled against very difficult odds to try to achieve justice for the victims of 2002. We demand that this false and vindictive FIR be taken back unconditionally and Teesta Setalvad and others detained under this FIR be released immediately,” said signatories.

Similarly, the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) pointed out that none of the provisions against the activist are cognisable. As such, the Gujarat ATS requires court permission and a warrant to arrest a person.

“The ATS’s dubious explanation at the time that Setalvad was not arrested but detained for questioning also holds no water. A 60-year-old activist with strong roots in the community, Setalvad is not a flight risk and should be questioned by female officers in her home as per law,” said the NWMI in a press statement.

It demanded that the police withdraw the FIR against Setalvad. Members called it an attempt to intimidate and silence citizens seeking to uncover the truth about the communal violence. They also expressed solidarity with Setalvad and called upon the Gujarat government to protect activists pursuing legal and legitimate means for justice instead of browbeating them.

Regarding the Zakia Jafri case itself, NWMI said the petitioners followed due process but the apex court took a long time to dismiss their petition. For this reason, the delay cannot be considered an abuse on the part of the petitioners. Instead, it pointed out how the court’s observation was utilised by the Gujarat police to put at risk all citizens pursuing claims against the government.

Along with rights groups, journalists’ bodies also called for protests against the witch-hunt. In a joint statement, the National Alliance of Journalists (NAJ) and the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) condemned the “ugly and motivated, hasty arrest” of Setalvad. NAJ President S. K. Pande and DUJ General Secretary Sujata Modhak among others said, “The arrests smack of an increasingly visible undeclared Emergency that is increasingly becoming visible in continued attacks not only on the freedom of the press but on the democratic rights of citizens which are being bulldozed. Simultaneously, the police seem to be increasingly utilised in witch-hunting of selected persons.”

Members lamented that Teesta Setalvad, a veteran journalist and human rights activist is treated as a criminal.

The New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) said in its solidarity statement, “Democracy is a struggle between people and the state in which people challenge government and its agencies for violating and undermining their rights, very often with complete impunity.”

It argued that such circumstances allow people to approach courts that are supposed to be independent arbiter in case of denial of people’s rights. Yet the apex court judgement said a campaign for justice and accountability in this ‘democracy’ is not an inalienable right.

“The Supreme [Court] has handed the government the license to act against anyone who stands up to power and questions it. It has in fact said the government is entitled to be vindictive if the most powerful in the land are questioned,” said General Secretary Gautam Modi. Regarding claims of lack of cooperation from Setalvad and Sreekumar, Modi said that neither were asked to join a police investigation and so the question of cooperation does not arise.

“Lack of cooperation has become part of the unwritten police manual. Courts for the most part allow such arrests to go unchallenged allowing a vindictive authoritarian government to ensure that process of criminal investigation is the punishment itself. It has now become an unwritten element of our constitution that one is guilty unless proved to be otherwise,” he said.

The NTUI has demanded the withdrawal of the FIR against the two people and asked that the Supreme Court ruling be rescinded. It called upon all progressive organisations to join forces in seeking a comprehensive review of the case. Farmers umbrella body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) too supported this demand.

Another group, aside from rights collectives and unions, to support Setalvad was the International Union of Left Publishers. In 2017, LeftWord Books published the memoir of Teesta Setalvad, Foot Soldier of the Constitution. The book details the work of Teesta Setalvad’s quest to create a just world, a world that remembers the atrocities of the past to not repeat such violence in the future.

“All those who have tried to make the case for the government’s role in the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat faced sustained persecution. The Indian Supreme Court has now weighed in and suggested – in very strong words – that Setalvad should be investigated for her role in the campaign to bring justice to the victims and survivors,” said LeftWord in a press statement.

The publishers called upon the government to cease its persecution of writers such as the journalist.

Related:

Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars

Chorus demanding justice for Teesta Setalvad grows louder!

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

 

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release

Peaceful protests held nationwide to demand release of the human rights defender

27 Jun 2022

Mumbai

In wake of Teesta Setalvad’s arrest thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand justice for the human rights defender who was arrested on trumped-up charges after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition moved by Zakia Jafri demanding an investigation into the larger conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat violence.

In fact, support has poured in from across the world. Over 2,200 people from across the globe have signed a statement demanding the immediate release of journalist and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP Gujarat police RB Sreekumar.

Leading signatories such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) General Secretary V. Suresh, National Association of People’s Movements (NAPM) Convenor Medha Patkar, former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas, former Lucknow University Vice Chancellor Rooprekha Verma, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) founder Aruna Roy, Carnatic musician TM Krishna, actor and dancer Mallika Sarabhai, writer and scholar Shabnam Hashmi, poet Gauhar Raza, and thousands of others signed a statement condemning the government’s prosecution of the activist and former IPS officers.

“The state has now used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of state callousness and complicity. It is truly an Orwellian situation of the lie becoming the truth, when those who fought to establish the truth of what happened in the Gujarat genocide of 2002 are being targeted,” they said in a statement released on June 27.

To walk the talk, the coalition of human rights activists called for pan-India protests on June 27, 2022. Members said that the demonstration also criticises the Supreme Court judgement in the Zakia Jafri case and the observations made against Setalvad, RB Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and others who fought for justice. They also appealed to the apex court to review its own judgement in the aforementioned case.

Several cities answered this call for demonstrations. Particularly, people in Bengaluru in Karnataka and Kolkata in West Bengal who have continued to hold demonstrations since Sunday.

Bengaluru

On Sunday morning, Bengaluru activists commenced a protest at Town Hall in solidarity with the two arrested. Videos show people, including a child, holding posters demanding “Justice for Teesta and Sajiv” and the Preamble of the Constitution.

Teesta Setalvad

Teesta Setalvad

Earlier, the All India Lawyers Union (AILU) had expressed solidarity with Setalvad. On Monday, young lawyers held a protest outside the City Civil Court complex.

Kolkata

In Kolkata, various progressive organizations gathered at Moulali and Rajabazar areas to condemn arrests. These demonstrations are part of a series of protests that began hours after Setalvad’s arrest.

 

 

On June 26, West Bengal’s Left Front organised a mass march in Kolkata demanding the immediate release of Setalvad and the former Gujarat State Director General of Police R. B. Sreekumar.

 

 

According to Newsclick, Left Front chairman Biman Bose, prominent actor Badsha Maitra, social activist Saira Shah Halim and other prominent personalities marched as well. The rally was led by CPM state-secretary Mohammad Salim.

Delhi

In Delhi, All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)’s Ashok Chowdhary and Roma Malik, social activist and filmmaker Gauhar Raza, Professor Shamsul Islam, Democratic Teachers’ Front President Nandita Narain joined the activists and protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar to demand justice for Teesta Setalvad. There was heavy deployment of security forces including the CRF, RAF and Delhi police. On officer expressed surprise at the crowd gathered in support of the arrested amidst high humidity and heat.

free teesta

Teesta Setalvad

Delhi

Delhi

Delhi

Regarding the whole incident Narain said, “We condemn this arrest. It is unprecedented that the petitioners have been told to be put in the dock by the court. Why are they saying they are motivated? To say this was a conspiracy means that no state process can be challenged? Where are our constitutional rights?”

Attendees chanted “Free all political prisoners” during the speeches by leaders and thinkers. Islam also spoke about the judgement and pointed out that the verdict includes the words of the police. However, it does not name the person who wrote the judgement.

Meanwhile, Raza said, “This [the arrests] is a message that if you stand with Muslims you will face the same action like Teesta has. The court and police are being seen standing with the killers.”

Varanasi

Varanasi’s Nagrik Samaj took answered the call for dissent amidst huge police force at Shastri Ghat. Senior people, academics, people from different walk, social activists, lawyers, media persons supported Teesta. Women activists gave the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) a memorandum of their demands.

varanasi

varanasi

Varansi

varanasi

Although the protest ended early owing to security pressure, Senior Samajwadi Party leader Vijay Narayan Singh, Sunil Sahasrabuddhe, Professor R P Singh, Aflatoon, Lenin, Rajendra Chaudhary, Manish, Praval, farmer leader Ramjanam, Luxman Prasad, Advocate Abdullah, Abu Hashim and other social activists were present to show their support for Teesta Setalvad.

People gathered and sang songs of solidarity while a person held a poster with the words “I am Teesta”. CJP’s Varanasi Coordinator and social activist Muniza Khan said, “We demand the release of Setalvad and Sreekumar. Regarding the Supreme Court decision, we see for the first time that the petitioner herself is being questioned. We appeal to the court to reconsider this decision.”

Listen to her full statement here:

Mumbai

Activists in Mumbai gathered outside Dadar railway station demanding immediate release of Teesta Setalvad, RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt. The protesters, including trade unionists, demanded that the ruling regime stop abusing their power.

Mumbai

Mumbai

Mumbai

A protest meeting was held in front of the Secretariat, Trivandrum, Kerala. It was organised by the Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham (Progressive Association of Arts and Letters).

Teesta Setalvad

More protests were observed in Jaipur, Ranchi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dhulia, Raipur. etc.

Individual solidarity also came from Left Word Books publication Editor Vijay Prasad. Speaking about Setalvad’s book ‘Foot Soldier of the Constitution’, he focused on a comment by historian Romila Thapar who said she wished for more citizens like Setalvad.

“Today that citizen Teesta Setalvad is in prison. Free Teesta Setalvad,” said Prasad in his video.

Taking a FIR look at the FIR, signatories pointed out that the document marks the period of offence from January 1, 2002 to June 25, 2022. This means that every effort for justice for victims of 2002, be it petitions filed in the High Court, Supreme Court or the Magistrates’ court, is sought to be criminalised.

“The ordinary process of litigation to make the state accountable by establishing guilt of those accused of serious crimes is tarred with the criminal brush. We condemn this naked and brazen attempt to silence and criminalize those who stand for constitutional values and who have struggled against very difficult odds to try to achieve justice for the victims of 2002. We demand that this false and vindictive FIR be taken back unconditionally and Teesta Setalvad and others detained under this FIR be released immediately,” said signatories.

More protests were observed in Jaipur, Ranchi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dhulia, Raipur. etc.

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

The entire list of signatories may be viewed here:

Related:

Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars

Chorus demanding justice for Teesta Setalvad grows louder!

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release

Peaceful protests held nationwide to demand release of the human rights defender

Mumbai

In wake of Teesta Setalvad’s arrest thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand justice for the human rights defender who was arrested on trumped-up charges after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition moved by Zakia Jafri demanding an investigation into the larger conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat violence.

In fact, support has poured in from across the world. Over 2,200 people from across the globe have signed a statement demanding the immediate release of journalist and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP Gujarat police RB Sreekumar.

Leading signatories such as People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) General Secretary V. Suresh, National Association of People’s Movements (NAPM) Convenor Medha Patkar, former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas, former Lucknow University Vice Chancellor Rooprekha Verma, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) founder Aruna Roy, Carnatic musician TM Krishna, actor and dancer Mallika Sarabhai, writer and scholar Shabnam Hashmi, poet Gauhar Raza, and thousands of others signed a statement condemning the government’s prosecution of the activist and former IPS officers.

“The state has now used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of state callousness and complicity. It is truly an Orwellian situation of the lie becoming the truth, when those who fought to establish the truth of what happened in the Gujarat genocide of 2002 are being targeted,” they said in a statement released on June 27.

To walk the talk, the coalition of human rights activists called for pan-India protests on June 27, 2022. Members said that the demonstration also criticises the Supreme Court judgement in the Zakia Jafri case and the observations made against Setalvad, RB Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and others who fought for justice. They also appealed to the apex court to review its own judgement in the aforementioned case.

Several cities answered this call for demonstrations. Particularly, people in Bengaluru in Karnataka and Kolkata in West Bengal who have continued to hold demonstrations since Sunday.

Bengaluru

On Sunday morning, Bengaluru activists commenced a protest at Town Hall in solidarity with the two arrested. Videos show people, including a child, holding posters demanding “Justice for Teesta and Sajiv” and the Preamble of the Constitution.

Teesta Setalvad

Teesta Setalvad

Earlier, the All India Lawyers Union (AILU) had expressed solidarity with Setalvad. On Monday, young lawyers held a protest outside the City Civil Court complex.

Kolkata

In Kolkata, various progressive organizations gathered at Moulali and Rajabazar areas to condemn arrests. These demonstrations are part of a series of protests that began hours after Setalvad’s arrest.

 

 

On June 26, West Bengal’s Left Front organised a mass march in Kolkata demanding the immediate release of Setalvad and the former Gujarat State Director General of Police R. B. Sreekumar.

 

 

According to Newsclick, Left Front chairman Biman Bose, prominent actor Badsha Maitra, social activist Saira Shah Halim and other prominent personalities marched as well. The rally was led by CPM state-secretary Mohammad Salim.

Delhi

In Delhi, All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)’s Ashok Chowdhary and Roma Malik, social activist and filmmaker Gauhar Raza, Professor Shamsul Islam, Democratic Teachers’ Front President Nandita Narain joined the activists and protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar to demand justice for Teesta Setalvad. There was heavy deployment of security forces including the CRF, RAF and Delhi police. On officer expressed surprise at the crowd gathered in support of the arrested amidst high humidity and heat.

free teesta

Teesta Setalvad

Delhi

Delhi

Delhi

Regarding the whole incident Narain said, “We condemn this arrest. It is unprecedented that the petitioners have been told to be put in the dock by the court. Why are they saying they are motivated? To say this was a conspiracy means that no state process can be challenged? Where are our constitutional rights?”

Attendees chanted “Free all political prisoners” during the speeches by leaders and thinkers. Islam also spoke about the judgement and pointed out that the verdict includes the words of the police. However, it does not name the person who wrote the judgement.

Meanwhile, Raza said, “This [the arrests] is a message that if you stand with Muslims you will face the same action like Teesta has. The court and police are being seen standing with the killers.”

Varanasi

Varanasi’s Nagrik Samaj took answered the call for dissent amidst huge police force at Shastri Ghat. Senior people, academics, people from different walk, social activists, lawyers, media persons supported Teesta. Women activists gave the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) a memorandum of their demands.

varanasi

varanasi

Varansi

varanasi

Although the protest ended early owing to security pressure, Senior Samajwadi Party leader Vijay Narayan Singh, Sunil Sahasrabuddhe, Professor R P Singh, Aflatoon, Lenin, Rajendra Chaudhary, Manish, Praval, farmer leader Ramjanam, Luxman Prasad, Advocate Abdullah, Abu Hashim and other social activists were present to show their support for Teesta Setalvad.

People gathered and sang songs of solidarity while a person held a poster with the words “I am Teesta”. CJP’s Varanasi Coordinator and social activist Muniza Khan said, “We demand the release of Setalvad and Sreekumar. Regarding the Supreme Court decision, we see for the first time that the petitioner herself is being questioned. We appeal to the court to reconsider this decision.”

Listen to her full statement here:

Mumbai

Activists in Mumbai gathered outside Dadar railway station demanding immediate release of Teesta Setalvad, RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt. The protesters, including trade unionists, demanded that the ruling regime stop abusing their power.

Mumbai

Mumbai

Mumbai

A protest meeting was held in front of the Secretariat, Trivandrum, Kerala. It was organised by the Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham (Progressive Association of Arts and Letters).

Teesta Setalvad

More protests were observed in Jaipur, Ranchi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dhulia, Raipur. etc.

Individual solidarity also came from Left Word Books publication Editor Vijay Prasad. Speaking about Setalvad’s book ‘Foot Soldier of the Constitution’, he focused on a comment by historian Romila Thapar who said she wished for more citizens like Setalvad.

“Today that citizen Teesta Setalvad is in prison. Free Teesta Setalvad,” said Prasad in his video.

Taking a FIR look at the FIR, signatories pointed out that the document marks the period of offence from January 1, 2002 to June 25, 2022. This means that every effort for justice for victims of 2002, be it petitions filed in the High Court, Supreme Court or the Magistrates’ court, is sought to be criminalised.

“The ordinary process of litigation to make the state accountable by establishing guilt of those accused of serious crimes is tarred with the criminal brush. We condemn this naked and brazen attempt to silence and criminalize those who stand for constitutional values and who have struggled against very difficult odds to try to achieve justice for the victims of 2002. We demand that this false and vindictive FIR be taken back unconditionally and Teesta Setalvad and others detained under this FIR be released immediately,” said signatories.

More protests were observed in Jaipur, Ranchi, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dhulia, Raipur. etc.

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

Free Teesta

The entire list of signatories may be viewed here:

Related:

Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars

Chorus demanding justice for Teesta Setalvad grows louder!

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars

Digital media activists and artists creatively express solidarity, demand Teesta Setalvad’s immediate release

27 Jun 2022

Digital Media
Image Courtesy:deccanherald.com

News of activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad’s remand to police custody till July 1, 2022 has not dampened the spirits of Indian youth, especially digital artists and activists who are voicing their dissent using their art that is taking social media, especially Instagram by storm!

Alongside statements by international rights leaders and politicians, the artwork highlights how civil dissent strengthens, even when prominent leaders are put behind bars.

On June 24, the Supreme Court dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Congress MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia Jafri. Her husband was brutally killed during the communal violence that broke out in Gulberg Society in 2002. Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) through Secretary Setalvad was the second petitioner. Setalvad was picked up from her Mumbai home by the Gujarat ATS on June 25, and this sparked a creative protest by artists.

Youth artist Bhawna (Nabhawna) posted an artwork with the slogans “Humne suna Hai ki jinko chuna hai who kehne lage hain poochna mana hai” (We heard that those chosen to power say you cannot ask questions) and “Free Teesta Setalvad” around the activist. The former is a quote scrawled across the Delhi Bus Rapid Transit area’s walls in the national capital.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bhawna. (@nabhawna)

In the caption Bhawna says, “Detention of human rights activist Teesta Setalvad of CJP India is a direct attack on dissent and those who dare to question the authorities.”

Further, speaking to SabrangIndia about the sudden arrest, the enraged artist says, "To see the government targeting the human rights activists so ruthlessly, makes one question how much space is left for dissent in this country. The arrest is vile and ridiculous on so many grounds that it has left me speechless... This move is only to plant fear in the minds of people who are doing human rights work and trying to save whatever semblance of democracy we have left. They want us to be silent so they can do their work seamlessly."

Another simple yet hard-hitting artwork came from Siddhesh Gautam also known as Bakeryprasad on Instagram. The picture shows Setalvad smiling, standing in front of a background flooded with the words “Free Teesta Setalvad” with a caption demanding the same. Within 19 hours, the artwork garnered 1,071 likes.

Earlier, Gautam had conversed with the 60-year-old on CJP India’s Instagram Live about interfaith/ intercaste unions, Special Marriage Act and anti-conversion laws in different Indian states.

Aside from known artists, Marxist meme pages are also voicing support for the veteran rights leader using the hashtag “Stand With Teesta Setalvad”. With 68 likes, the ‘Anilmarxistsangam’ page on Instagram quotes Gujarat Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani’s tweet condemning Setalvad’s arrest.

 

There’s a political digital artist ‘Deemuk’ who as per their bio is a “Chronicler of social, cultural and political events”. Their posts dipped in red express their strong political opinions on various socio-political instances, more recently specific to India. The latest post is a headshot of Setalvad with the words “The Free Voice” in block letters across the bottom.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DEEMUK (@d.e.e.m.u.k)

Many such creations are flooding social media. Hours after the arrest, Smish Designs and artist Saman posted artworks for Setalvad. Both artists talked about how their interaction with the Teesta Setalvad, recalling how the 60-year-old activist had influenced their life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

 

Related:

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1
Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad
Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists
PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home
I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Teesta Setalvad inspires art from behind bars

Digital media activists and artists creatively express solidarity, demand Teesta Setalvad’s immediate release

Digital Media
Image Courtesy:deccanherald.com

News of activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad’s remand to police custody till July 1, 2022 has not dampened the spirits of Indian youth, especially digital artists and activists who are voicing their dissent using their art that is taking social media, especially Instagram by storm!

Alongside statements by international rights leaders and politicians, the artwork highlights how civil dissent strengthens, even when prominent leaders are put behind bars.

On June 24, the Supreme Court dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Congress MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia Jafri. Her husband was brutally killed during the communal violence that broke out in Gulberg Society in 2002. Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) through Secretary Setalvad was the second petitioner. Setalvad was picked up from her Mumbai home by the Gujarat ATS on June 25, and this sparked a creative protest by artists.

Youth artist Bhawna (Nabhawna) posted an artwork with the slogans “Humne suna Hai ki jinko chuna hai who kehne lage hain poochna mana hai” (We heard that those chosen to power say you cannot ask questions) and “Free Teesta Setalvad” around the activist. The former is a quote scrawled across the Delhi Bus Rapid Transit area’s walls in the national capital.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bhawna. (@nabhawna)

In the caption Bhawna says, “Detention of human rights activist Teesta Setalvad of CJP India is a direct attack on dissent and those who dare to question the authorities.”

Further, speaking to SabrangIndia about the sudden arrest, the enraged artist says, "To see the government targeting the human rights activists so ruthlessly, makes one question how much space is left for dissent in this country. The arrest is vile and ridiculous on so many grounds that it has left me speechless... This move is only to plant fear in the minds of people who are doing human rights work and trying to save whatever semblance of democracy we have left. They want us to be silent so they can do their work seamlessly."

Another simple yet hard-hitting artwork came from Siddhesh Gautam also known as Bakeryprasad on Instagram. The picture shows Setalvad smiling, standing in front of a background flooded with the words “Free Teesta Setalvad” with a caption demanding the same. Within 19 hours, the artwork garnered 1,071 likes.

Earlier, Gautam had conversed with the 60-year-old on CJP India’s Instagram Live about interfaith/ intercaste unions, Special Marriage Act and anti-conversion laws in different Indian states.

Aside from known artists, Marxist meme pages are also voicing support for the veteran rights leader using the hashtag “Stand With Teesta Setalvad”. With 68 likes, the ‘Anilmarxistsangam’ page on Instagram quotes Gujarat Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani’s tweet condemning Setalvad’s arrest.

 

There’s a political digital artist ‘Deemuk’ who as per their bio is a “Chronicler of social, cultural and political events”. Their posts dipped in red express their strong political opinions on various socio-political instances, more recently specific to India. The latest post is a headshot of Setalvad with the words “The Free Voice” in block letters across the bottom.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DEEMUK (@d.e.e.m.u.k)

Many such creations are flooding social media. Hours after the arrest, Smish Designs and artist Saman posted artworks for Setalvad. Both artists talked about how their interaction with the Teesta Setalvad, recalling how the 60-year-old activist had influenced their life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

 

Related:

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1
Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad
Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists
PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home
I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Chorus demanding justice for Teesta Setalvad grows louder!

More activists, journalists and civil society members are stepping out to express solidarity with the human rights defender

27 Jun 2022

Teesta Setalvad

It’s not even been 48 hours since journalist, activist and educationist Teesta Setalvad was picked up from her ancestral home in Mumbai, and already there is huge support from across the world as well as India for her.

Elaine Pearson, the Acting Asia Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) has now urged governments at the G-7 summit that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending at present to raise questions about Setalvad’s arrest.

 

 

This is yet another example of international support for Setalvad after Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders demanded Setalvad’s release saying, “Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime.”

 

 

Similarly, international humanitarian organisation Amnesty’s India unit, that has itself faced persecution on trumped up pertaining to obtaining foreign funds, had also called Setalvad’s arrest “a direct reprisal against those who dare to question their human rights record,” and said, “It sends a chilling message to the civil society & further shrinks the space for dissent in the country.”

 

 

Closer home, the Mumbai Press Club has condemned the human rights defender’s arrest saying that she has been made a scapegoat “in a chilling process of vendetta unleashed by the executive and the judiciary.” They have further said, “It is unacceptable that a person who has been fighting for civil justice should be accused of fabricating evidence and misleading the Special Investigation Team.” Calling for an end to the “politics of vengeance”, they have also demanded that all charges be dropped against Setalvad and she be released immediately.

 

 

Among politicians, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has called out the regime’s “habit of targeting opponents and infringing on civil liberties”.

 

 

Similarly, CPI (M) Politburo member Brinda Karat also came out in support of Setalvad and called her arrest a “very vindictive action” by the regime. She warns that such actions are an “ominous threat to all democratic citizens” who dare to question the role of authorities in the spread of communal violence.

 

 

Meanwhile public meetings and peaceful protests are being organized across India. A meeting of socio-political organisations has been called at Shastri Ghat in Varanasi at noon today by an organization called Nagrik Samaj.

varanasi

A similar meeting has been called at 4 P.M in Patna at the Buddha Smriti Park by women’s rights groups.

Then at 5 P.M, a protest has been planned near the Hanuman Mandir outside Dadar railway station (East) by various activists and civil society members such as Prakash Reddy, Vidya Chawan, Adv. Mihir Desai, Vivek Monteiro, Milind Ranade, FerozeMithiborwala, Dolphy D’Souza, Varsha Vidya Vilas, Lara Jesani, Guddi, M A Khalid, Vishal Hiwale, Nuruddin Naik among others.

dadar

The Joint Forum against NRC has also issued a statement condemning the arrest calling it a “naked act of political vendetta” and condemned how “the complainants are now being accused of conspiracy and being persecuted.” Hailing Teesta Setalvad for her “relentless crusade against perpetrators of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002”, they also praised “her role in defence of those incarcerated in detention centres and the vulnerable NRC-excluded people in Assam” calling it “inspiring”.

Teesta

 

Meanwhile, Delhi University professor Apoorvanad has written a scathing piece about the entire sordid matter in The Wire, saying, “Between the outrage by the court against the trouble-makers and the arrest was an interview in which the home minister of the Union government of India names the organisation of Teesta Setalvad and indicates that some officials of the state worked to defame the then state government and the chief minister.” He further wrote, “It seems that the interview and the work on the first information report (FIR) by an officer of the Gujarat police naming Teesta, Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt were going on simultaneously. What else explains the knock on the doors of Teesta and Sreekumar within hours of the airing of the interview.”

Related:

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

Chorus demanding justice for Teesta Setalvad grows louder!

More activists, journalists and civil society members are stepping out to express solidarity with the human rights defender

Teesta Setalvad

It’s not even been 48 hours since journalist, activist and educationist Teesta Setalvad was picked up from her ancestral home in Mumbai, and already there is huge support from across the world as well as India for her.

Elaine Pearson, the Acting Asia Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) has now urged governments at the G-7 summit that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending at present to raise questions about Setalvad’s arrest.

 

 

This is yet another example of international support for Setalvad after Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders demanded Setalvad’s release saying, “Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime.”

 

 

Similarly, international humanitarian organisation Amnesty’s India unit, that has itself faced persecution on trumped up pertaining to obtaining foreign funds, had also called Setalvad’s arrest “a direct reprisal against those who dare to question their human rights record,” and said, “It sends a chilling message to the civil society & further shrinks the space for dissent in the country.”

 

 

Closer home, the Mumbai Press Club has condemned the human rights defender’s arrest saying that she has been made a scapegoat “in a chilling process of vendetta unleashed by the executive and the judiciary.” They have further said, “It is unacceptable that a person who has been fighting for civil justice should be accused of fabricating evidence and misleading the Special Investigation Team.” Calling for an end to the “politics of vengeance”, they have also demanded that all charges be dropped against Setalvad and she be released immediately.

 

 

Among politicians, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has called out the regime’s “habit of targeting opponents and infringing on civil liberties”.

 

 

Similarly, CPI (M) Politburo member Brinda Karat also came out in support of Setalvad and called her arrest a “very vindictive action” by the regime. She warns that such actions are an “ominous threat to all democratic citizens” who dare to question the role of authorities in the spread of communal violence.

 

 

Meanwhile public meetings and peaceful protests are being organized across India. A meeting of socio-political organisations has been called at Shastri Ghat in Varanasi at noon today by an organization called Nagrik Samaj.

varanasi

A similar meeting has been called at 4 P.M in Patna at the Buddha Smriti Park by women’s rights groups.

Then at 5 P.M, a protest has been planned near the Hanuman Mandir outside Dadar railway station (East) by various activists and civil society members such as Prakash Reddy, Vidya Chawan, Adv. Mihir Desai, Vivek Monteiro, Milind Ranade, FerozeMithiborwala, Dolphy D’Souza, Varsha Vidya Vilas, Lara Jesani, Guddi, M A Khalid, Vishal Hiwale, Nuruddin Naik among others.

dadar

The Joint Forum against NRC has also issued a statement condemning the arrest calling it a “naked act of political vendetta” and condemned how “the complainants are now being accused of conspiracy and being persecuted.” Hailing Teesta Setalvad for her “relentless crusade against perpetrators of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002”, they also praised “her role in defence of those incarcerated in detention centres and the vulnerable NRC-excluded people in Assam” calling it “inspiring”.

Teesta

 

Meanwhile, Delhi University professor Apoorvanad has written a scathing piece about the entire sordid matter in The Wire, saying, “Between the outrage by the court against the trouble-makers and the arrest was an interview in which the home minister of the Union government of India names the organisation of Teesta Setalvad and indicates that some officials of the state worked to defame the then state government and the chief minister.” He further wrote, “It seems that the interview and the work on the first information report (FIR) by an officer of the Gujarat police naming Teesta, Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt were going on simultaneously. What else explains the knock on the doors of Teesta and Sreekumar within hours of the airing of the interview.”

Related:

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

The human rights defender will be next produced in court on July 2

26 Jun 2022

Teesta

The court of a Metropolitan Magistrate has remanded activist Testa Setalvad to police custody till July 1. Setalvad had been picked up from her Mumbai home by a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday afternoon and taken to Ahmedabad, where she was formally arrested this morning.

She will now be produced in court on July 2 along with her alleged co-conspirator RB Sreekumar who is a retired IPS officer and former Director General of Police (DGP) Gujarat. After the arrest, she was taken to SV Hospital in Ahmedabad for a routine medical check-up before being produced before a judge.

Readers would recall that Setalvad had said that she had been physically assaulted in her home by police personnel yesterday, and had sustained bruises to her left hand. She had also expressed concerns about her safety in a written complaint filed with the Santacruz Police Station where she was taken by the Gujarat ATS team, before she was whisked away to Ahmedabad.

Setalvad has maintained that the manner in which she was arrested was illegal – that she wasn’t even shown the warrant or First Information Report (FIR) till her lawyer arrived. Also curious is how the conspiracy charges materialized just a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Ehsan Jafri who had been brutally killed during the communal violence that broke out in Gulberg Society in 2002. Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) through its secretary Teesta Setalvad was the second petitioner in the case.

However, in a shocking turn of events, the court, deeming Setalvad’s involvement to be malicious, observed in its judgment, “As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law.

The above extract was also quoted in a complaint filed on behalf of the State by Darshansinh B Barad, Police Inspector, Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad City. In the complaint dated June 25, 2022, Barad asks for an FIR to be registered against Setalvad, former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) R.B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC):

194 (Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence)

211 (False charge of offence made with intent to injure)

218 (Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfei­ture)

468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating)

471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record)

Read with 120 B (Criminal Conspiracy) 

The State’s complaint says that Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt conspired to malign the reputation of senior Gujarat government officials as well as the Special investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the communal violence of 2002. The trumped-up charges against Setalvad include conspiracy to fabricate facts and documents, tutor witnesses and bring about a malicious prosecution against the alleged perpetrators of the conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat communal violence.

The clearly trumped-up charges have not gone unnoticed by civil society members, with new voices joining the chorus to demand justice for Teesta Setalvad every hour.

 

 

 

Many peaceful protests have been planned by activists, youth groups, trade unions and others in the upcoming days. In fact, one protest was held in Kolkata on the evening of June 26, by members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M). Politburo member Brinda Karat has come out in support of Setalvad and called her arrest a “very vindictive action” by the regime. She warns that such actions are an “ominous threat to all democratic citizens” who dare to question the role of authorities in the spread of communal violence. Her entire video statement may be viewed here:

 

 

In fact, members of another Left Front party, the CPI (ML) Liberation, burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a protest in Jadhavpur in West Bengal.

 

 

 

Related:

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

Ahmedabad court remands Teesta Setalvad to police custody till July 1

The human rights defender will be next produced in court on July 2

Teesta

The court of a Metropolitan Magistrate has remanded activist Testa Setalvad to police custody till July 1. Setalvad had been picked up from her Mumbai home by a unit of the Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday afternoon and taken to Ahmedabad, where she was formally arrested this morning.

She will now be produced in court on July 2 along with her alleged co-conspirator RB Sreekumar who is a retired IPS officer and former Director General of Police (DGP) Gujarat. After the arrest, she was taken to SV Hospital in Ahmedabad for a routine medical check-up before being produced before a judge.

Readers would recall that Setalvad had said that she had been physically assaulted in her home by police personnel yesterday, and had sustained bruises to her left hand. She had also expressed concerns about her safety in a written complaint filed with the Santacruz Police Station where she was taken by the Gujarat ATS team, before she was whisked away to Ahmedabad.

Setalvad has maintained that the manner in which she was arrested was illegal – that she wasn’t even shown the warrant or First Information Report (FIR) till her lawyer arrived. Also curious is how the conspiracy charges materialized just a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Ehsan Jafri who had been brutally killed during the communal violence that broke out in Gulberg Society in 2002. Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) through its secretary Teesta Setalvad was the second petitioner in the case.

However, in a shocking turn of events, the court, deeming Setalvad’s involvement to be malicious, observed in its judgment, “As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law.

The above extract was also quoted in a complaint filed on behalf of the State by Darshansinh B Barad, Police Inspector, Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad City. In the complaint dated June 25, 2022, Barad asks for an FIR to be registered against Setalvad, former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) R.B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC):

194 (Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence)

211 (False charge of offence made with intent to injure)

218 (Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfei­ture)

468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating)

471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record)

Read with 120 B (Criminal Conspiracy) 

The State’s complaint says that Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt conspired to malign the reputation of senior Gujarat government officials as well as the Special investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the communal violence of 2002. The trumped-up charges against Setalvad include conspiracy to fabricate facts and documents, tutor witnesses and bring about a malicious prosecution against the alleged perpetrators of the conspiracy behind the 2002 Gujarat communal violence.

The clearly trumped-up charges have not gone unnoticed by civil society members, with new voices joining the chorus to demand justice for Teesta Setalvad every hour.

 

 

 

Many peaceful protests have been planned by activists, youth groups, trade unions and others in the upcoming days. In fact, one protest was held in Kolkata on the evening of June 26, by members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M). Politburo member Brinda Karat has come out in support of Setalvad and called her arrest a “very vindictive action” by the regime. She warns that such actions are an “ominous threat to all democratic citizens” who dare to question the role of authorities in the spread of communal violence. Her entire video statement may be viewed here:

 

 

In fact, members of another Left Front party, the CPI (ML) Liberation, burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a protest in Jadhavpur in West Bengal.

 

 

 

Related:

Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Sabrang

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

Youths, trade unions and rights groups stand with Teesta Setalvad, demand her immediate release

26 Jun 2022

Release Teesta

Barely 24 hours have passed since activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was forcibly taken away by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, and support for the 60-year-old is flooding every social media platform.

On June 25, the ATS unit barged into the ancestral bungalowof the human rights defender who is the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP). They detained her on trumped up charges, that appear to have materialised just a day after the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Zakia Jafri case.

However, impressed and inspired by her work over the years, young digital activists have taken up the mantel of spreading news of her ordeal across the internet. Teesta Stalvad is thus inspiring young India even from behind bars!

On Instagram, digital activists are posting artwork in honour of the veteran journalist and her work in the field of human rights.

Smish Designs is one such young artist who talked about Setalvad's resolve in the field of human rights.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

"This was so painful to draw. I've had the honour to work with Teesta, her passion and determination to fight hate in the society left a mark on me. I wish for her security and safety back home," said Smish.

Another artist concerned by her ordeal is Djinnmakesart. Recollecting a meeting with Setalvad as a young child, she writes how the activist's words have stated with her till adulthood.

Djinn talked about how she first met Setalvad when she was eight years old. On asking for her autograph, Setalvad wrote, "Love courage and move."

Regarding this message, Djinn said, “Those words didn't mean a thing to me back then. But somehow, they have stuck with me. Perhaps a part of me knew that I would need to revisit these words over and over again over the entire course of my life. These words have brought me back to life in the darkest of days when I was left hopeless and helpless.” Djinn further said, “And today when I see her name in the news again for her relentless pursuit of social justice, I am secretly hoping that she is living by these same words that she wrote for my 8 year old self. I hope she does.”

On Saturday, Setalvad accused the personnel of assaulting her and taking away her phone. She was roughed up and taken to the Santacruz Police Station, where she was placed under arrest.Setalvad had filed a hand written complaint with the Santacruz Police Station saying Police Inspector JH Patel of the ATS Ahmedabad and a lady officer in civil clothes came into her bedroom and assaulted her when she demanded to speak to her lawyer. Setalvad says that she was not shown the First Information Report (FIR) or a warrant till her lawyer arrived.

Students Federation of India (SFI) has also thrown their support behind Teesta Setalvad solidifying her fan base among the youth:

 

 

Protests have been planned in all major cities to demand justice for Teesta Setalvad. Some have sought endorsements online:

 

Indeed #FreeTeesta is trending on Twitter

 

Condemning this abuse of human rights, Kolkata's CPI(M) unit is observing at 5 P.M in the West Bengal capital.

Release Teesta

At 4 P.M on June 27, a protest is planned to be held at Jantar Mantar, Delhi to condemn "Modi's undeclared emergency and war on progressive groups."

Release Teesta

Release Teesta

There is another call for a solidarity protest at 5PM on June 27 at Dadar Station (East), outside Hanuman Mandir.Organisers include noted activists, lawyers and academics such as Prakash Reddy, Vidya Chawan, Adv. Mihir Desai, Vivek Monteiro, Milind Ranade, FerozeMithiborwala, Dolphy D’Souza, Varsha Vidya Vilas, Lara Jesani, Guddi, M A Khalid, Vishal Hiwale, Nuruddin Naik among others.

Release Teesta

Support is also pouring in from students’ organisations like the All India Students Federation in Sri Sankaracharya University and the All India Students Association.

 

Further the All India Lawyers Union(AILU) has also condemned Setalvad's arrest and demanded her immediate release and withdrawal of charges. “Arrest of Teesta Setalvad, human rights activist, by the Gujarat ATS is the latest illustrative incident of oppressive and vindictive action of the state against dissent... to terrorize the activists and the civil society... to mute and silence the voice of dissent... voice against white terrorism. An action undermining the Constitution and the Constitutional ethos,” said AILU General Secretary P. V. Surendranath.

Related:

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home
Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad
I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Release Teesta Setalvad: Indian Human Rights groups and activists

Youths, trade unions and rights groups stand with Teesta Setalvad, demand her immediate release

Release Teesta

Barely 24 hours have passed since activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was forcibly taken away by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, and support for the 60-year-old is flooding every social media platform.

On June 25, the ATS unit barged into the ancestral bungalowof the human rights defender who is the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP). They detained her on trumped up charges, that appear to have materialised just a day after the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Zakia Jafri case.

However, impressed and inspired by her work over the years, young digital activists have taken up the mantel of spreading news of her ordeal across the internet. Teesta Stalvad is thus inspiring young India even from behind bars!

On Instagram, digital activists are posting artwork in honour of the veteran journalist and her work in the field of human rights.

Smish Designs is one such young artist who talked about Setalvad's resolve in the field of human rights.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

"This was so painful to draw. I've had the honour to work with Teesta, her passion and determination to fight hate in the society left a mark on me. I wish for her security and safety back home," said Smish.

Another artist concerned by her ordeal is Djinnmakesart. Recollecting a meeting with Setalvad as a young child, she writes how the activist's words have stated with her till adulthood.

Djinn talked about how she first met Setalvad when she was eight years old. On asking for her autograph, Setalvad wrote, "Love courage and move."

Regarding this message, Djinn said, “Those words didn't mean a thing to me back then. But somehow, they have stuck with me. Perhaps a part of me knew that I would need to revisit these words over and over again over the entire course of my life. These words have brought me back to life in the darkest of days when I was left hopeless and helpless.” Djinn further said, “And today when I see her name in the news again for her relentless pursuit of social justice, I am secretly hoping that she is living by these same words that she wrote for my 8 year old self. I hope she does.”

On Saturday, Setalvad accused the personnel of assaulting her and taking away her phone. She was roughed up and taken to the Santacruz Police Station, where she was placed under arrest.Setalvad had filed a hand written complaint with the Santacruz Police Station saying Police Inspector JH Patel of the ATS Ahmedabad and a lady officer in civil clothes came into her bedroom and assaulted her when she demanded to speak to her lawyer. Setalvad says that she was not shown the First Information Report (FIR) or a warrant till her lawyer arrived.

Students Federation of India (SFI) has also thrown their support behind Teesta Setalvad solidifying her fan base among the youth:

 

 

Protests have been planned in all major cities to demand justice for Teesta Setalvad. Some have sought endorsements online:

 

Indeed #FreeTeesta is trending on Twitter

 

Condemning this abuse of human rights, Kolkata's CPI(M) unit is observing at 5 P.M in the West Bengal capital.

Release Teesta

At 4 P.M on June 27, a protest is planned to be held at Jantar Mantar, Delhi to condemn "Modi's undeclared emergency and war on progressive groups."

Release Teesta

Release Teesta

There is another call for a solidarity protest at 5PM on June 27 at Dadar Station (East), outside Hanuman Mandir.Organisers include noted activists, lawyers and academics such as Prakash Reddy, Vidya Chawan, Adv. Mihir Desai, Vivek Monteiro, Milind Ranade, FerozeMithiborwala, Dolphy D’Souza, Varsha Vidya Vilas, Lara Jesani, Guddi, M A Khalid, Vishal Hiwale, Nuruddin Naik among others.

Release Teesta

Support is also pouring in from students’ organisations like the All India Students Federation in Sri Sankaracharya University and the All India Students Association.

 

Further the All India Lawyers Union(AILU) has also condemned Setalvad's arrest and demanded her immediate release and withdrawal of charges. “Arrest of Teesta Setalvad, human rights activist, by the Gujarat ATS is the latest illustrative incident of oppressive and vindictive action of the state against dissent... to terrorize the activists and the civil society... to mute and silence the voice of dissent... voice against white terrorism. An action undermining the Constitution and the Constitutional ethos,” said AILU General Secretary P. V. Surendranath.

Related:

PRESS RELEASE: Teesta Setalvad roughed up as Gujarat ATS personnel barge into her home
Support pours in for Teesta Setalvad
I fear for my life: Teesta Setalvad allegedly roughed up by Gujarat ATS personnel

Related Articles


Theme

Campaigns

Videos

Archives

IN FACT

Podcasts

Podcasts

Podcasts

Analysis

Archives

Podcasts

Subscribe to Freedom