HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Booked for failing to build memorial, Setalvad cries foul

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ahmedabad, January 07, 2014
First Published: 00:49 IST(7/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:54 IST(7/1/2014)

An FIR has been registered against social activist Teesta Setalvad and Tanvir Jafri, son of slain parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri, among others, following a complaint by a victim of the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre.

The charge — Setalvad’s Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and Sabrang Trust had collected Rs. 1.5 crore for a memorial at the site but not a penny has been used.

In a letter to Ahmedabad crime branch joint commissioner AK Sharma on Monday, Setalvad denied the charge.

Accusing the Gujarat police of "targeting activists fighting for justice", she said the FIR was "vindictive action to derail the proposed petition in the Gujarat high court against the clean chit given to chief minister Narendra Modi and others for the 2002 riots."

The idea for a museum had come up in 2007, but it had to be scrapped when real estate prices spiralled. "A formal resolution was passed after this was conveyed to them, leaving the members free to sell off their properties as per law. In no way have either CJP or Sabrang in any way cheated them or let down the society," Setalvad wrote.

"Till November 2012, Sabrang Trust had received Rs. 4,10,285 from donors within India and Rs. 50,000 from one individual overseas, for a proposed dream museum. The claims that CJP has raised Rs. 63 lakh and Sabrang Trust has raised Rs. 88 lakh for the museum are a total lie."

The police deny charges of frame-up. "The FIR has been lodged after the normal course of investigation," said a police officer involved in the probe.

"There is no motivation or any other factor. The complainant Feroz Saeedkhan Pathan is a victim and has lost three members of his family in the 2002 riots."

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