'Completely unwarranted': India rejects UN rights agency's criticism of action against Teesta Setalvad, 2 ex-cops

By, New Delhi
Jun 29, 2022 01:57 PM IST

The trio must not be ‘persecuted’ for their activism and solidarity with the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots, the agency said in a tweet last night.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday described as ‘unwarranted’, a statement by the UN human rights agency condemning the arrests of activist Teesta Setalvad and ‘two other persons'.

Activist Teesta Setalvad (AFP File Photo)
Activist Teesta Setalvad (AFP File Photo)

Also Read | A day after SC judgement, Gujarat police detain Teesta Setalvad

We're now on WhatsApp. Click to join.

“We have seen a comment by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding legal action against Teesta Setalvad and 2 other persons. The remarks are completely unwarranted and constitute an interference in India's independent judicial system,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement, according to news agency ANI.

“Authorities in India act against violations of law strictly in accordance with established judicial processes. Labeling such legal actions as persecution for activism is misleading and unacceptable,” the statement further stated.

The MEA was responding to a tweet put out by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday, which said, “We are very concerned by the arrest and detention of #WHRD @TeestaSetalvad and two ex police officers and call for their immediate release. They must not be persecuted for their activism and solidarity with the victims of the 2002 #GujaratRiots.”

Of the two former police officers, one is ex-Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar, who, like Setalvad, was arrested by the Gujarat ATS on June 25. While the activist was arrested from her residence in Mumbai, Sreekumar was arrested from his home in Gandhinagar.

Also Read | Activist Teesta Setalvad, ex-DGP Sreekumar remanded in police custody till July 2

The action was taken in a case registered against them on charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy, among others.

Meanwhile, the other former officer is likely to be Sanjiv Bhatt, who was in Gujarat during the 2002 riots, and, in later years, became a vocal critic of prime minister Narendra Modi. On June 20, 2019, Bhatt was sentenced to jail for life in a custodial death case.

The arrests of Setalvad, also a staunch critic of PM Modi, and Sreekumar, sparked protests across several cities. Critics accused the Modi government of indulging in a ‘witch-hunt’ as the crackdown came a day after the Supreme Court upheld clean chit to then-CM Narendra Modi and several others in connection with a 2002 Gujarat riots case.

"Exciting news! Hindustan Times is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!
Get Latest India News along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, October 03, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals