Hours After Amit Shah Accused Teesta Setalvad Of Giving False Information Over 2002 Riots, ATS Detains Activist From Mumbai

In an interview with ANI, Amit Shah stated that despite false accusations, the Gujarati people continued to support the BJP by casting their votes for the party.

New Delhi: In an interview to news agency ANI, Home Minister Amit Shah today criticised the BJP’s political adversaries, politically motivated journalists, and NGOs, including that of Teesta Setalvad, for levelling false accusations against the BJP and its leaders in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Narendra Modi’s clean chit in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.

Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was slain in the violence, had filed an appeal, which the Supreme Court rejected on Friday, stating that the plea was “devoid of merits.” “I gave the judgement a close read. Teesta Setalvad’s name is expressly mentioned in the ruling. I can’t recall the name of the NGO she ran, but it had provided the police with false information about the riots,” Amit Shah explained.

Hours after this comment from the Home Minister, the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) on Saturday detained activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai. The team arrived at Setalvad’s Mumbai home in the afternoon and took her to Santacruz police station, The Indian Express reported.

Alleging that the Gujarat ATS assaulted her, Setalvad’s lawyer Vijay Hiremath told The Indian Express: “We were not informed. They barged into (her house), they assaulted her and they’ve taken her.” He added that the police were applying charges under sections 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (Using as genuine a forged) of the IPC.

In an interview to ANI, the Union Minister asserted that the “trikut” nexus had not duped the general population. “The Nexus did not function for 20 years, no. The main factor is the people’s mandate because they can see everything. There are 260 crore eyes and 260 crore ears among the 130 crore individuals in the nation. We’ve never lost an election, yet they see and hear everything (In Gujarat). The public never agreed with these claims,” he added.

Furhtermore, he said, “The accusations were made public by the political foes of the BJP, Kuch ideology ke liye rajneeti mein aye patrakar (journalists who entered politics to further their ideologies), and a few NGOs (aaropon ko pracharit kiya). Because of their robust ecosystem, everyone began to accept the lies as fact.”

On Friday, the Supreme Court rejected a petition brought by Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress member Ehsan Jafri, that contested the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) finding that Narendra Modi and numerous other individuals were not involved in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Amit Shah responded when questioned about his reference of NGOs: “I hastily scanned the ruling, but Teesta Setalvad’s name is clearly stated. It was Setalvad’s NGO that submitted an application including BJP members in each police station, and because of the intense media pressure, each application was taken as gospel.”

ANI reported that Mr. Shah also denied claims that the BJP “dominated” the SIT established to look into the case. “We did not establish the SIT. The Supreme Court carried it out. Neither did we choose the officials; the Supreme Court did so after consulting the NGO. The officers worked for the Central government and weren’t from the states where the BJP is in power. By then, UPA had replaced the previous Central Government,” the union minister remarked.

In upholding PM Modi’s immunity in the Gujarat riots case on June 24, the Supreme Court stated that co-petitioner and activist Teesta Setalvad had taken advantage of petitioner Zakia Jafri’s feelings.

“Because the case was being watched by the court, how could anyone have a say in it? expensive attorneys represented the NGO,” Mr. Shah added.

He said, “The Supreme Court found that Zakia Jafri worked under the direction of another.” Mr. Shah claimed that many victims’ affidavits had been signed by an NGO without their knowledge.

He claimed that the administration and officers had done a wonderful job. “However, there was resentment as a result of the occurrence (the burning Godhra train), and neither the Police nor anyone else had any idea. Later, nobody had it in their possession “Mr. Shah added.

When questioned about the claim that the BJP hired attorneys who were paid high fees as compared to attorneys who were defending her NGO, Shah responded as follows: “There were police officers on our side, and they weren’t particularly well paid. For their fees, there is a system.”

Zakia Jafri’s plea has no validity, according to a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court chaired by Justice AM Khanwilkar, who also upheld the 2012 decision of the Gujarat magistrate accepting the SIT report.

Senior attorney Kapil Sibal, who is representing Jafri, told the bench, which also included Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar, that their arguments have nothing to do with any alleged involvement of the former chief minister and instead focus on a bigger conspiracy that the SIT did not look into, as reported by ANI.

The SIT had contested Jafri’s argument, claiming that the complaint was part of a diabolical scheme to look into the “bigger conspiracy” that led to the riots in Gujarat in 2002 and that Teesta Setalvad, a social activist, had allegedly directed Jafri’s initial complaint in an effort to stir up trouble.

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