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MHA Shah: Teesta Misled Probe By Furnishing False Information

| Updated: June 25, 2022 20:42

Activist Teesta Seetalvad was arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad in Mumbai, Saturday. She has been in recent news for assisting petitioner Zakia Jafri.

Who Is Zakia Jafri? Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenged the clean chit given to the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for his role in the 2002 Gujarat Riots. The report was earlier filed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). Ehsan Jafri was among the 69 people killed during the violence at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002. In her plea filed in December 2021, Ms Jafri had challenged the clean chit given to 64 people, including Narendra Modi, for their “larger role” in the riots.

How is Teesta involved in the case? Activist Teesta is known for her work in upholding human rights and preventing abuse of natural resources. She was assisting the septuagenarian widow with legal resources in terms of access to lawyers and the legal and Constitutional means to address Ms Jafri’s alleged wrongs.

The case as we know: Ended June 24. The Supreme Court, on Friday dismissed the plea of Zakia Jafri as “devoid of merit.” The case stands closed.

Then why was Teesta arrested? Hours after she was picked up by the ATS in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, Union Home minister Amit Shah, in his interview to news channels stated that Ms Seetalvad “furnished false document and misled the probe.” In fact, shortly after her arrest, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch also registered a complaint in which former Gujarat DGP R.B. Sreekumar was called to the Crime Branch and arrested after a preliminary inquiry. This was done on basis of orders to summon officers Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt. As of now, the trio stands accused under IPC Sections 468, 471, 194, 211, 218 and 120B.

Officer Sanjiv Bhatt will be arrested from Palanpur Jail on a transfer warrant. Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was convicted in a custodial death case. He is currently serving his sentence in Palanpur Jail. According to law, the ACB is entitled to take action on basis of a transfer warrant.

What next? Inspector Darshan Singh Barde, on duty at Ahmedabad Crime Branch, awaits orders on the case which is expected to assume national significance. For now, former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, former DGP RB Sreekumar and social activist Teesta Seetalvad stand arrested and subject to trial for “sharing false information” and “damaging the image of Gujarat” and “influencing the legal process.” The trio will be tried for “pre-meditated conspiracy in misleading the natural process of law for the trial court, the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court.”

What else is known so far? Shortly after the Apex Court verdict on Friday, a team was dispatched to Mumbai early Saturday morning to arrest Ms Seetalvad. Former DGP RB Sreekumar, on the other hand, was summoned to the Crime Branch to record his statement in this regard. Officers from the Crime Branch informed him about the complaint registered against him. He was arrested after initial questioning.

Also Read: Mumbai: Gujarat ATS Detains Activist Teesta Setalvad

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