Setalvad accused of fund fraud

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 06, 2014 11:22 hrs

Ahmedabad: Social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, son of dead Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, Tanvir, have been booked by the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) along with two survivors of the 2002 Gulbarg Society Massacre case.

As per information available, Setalvad and others have been accused of breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy. Setalvad on her part has termed the FIR ‘vindictive’ and has noted that it was filed to prevent her from filing a prompt appeal against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Zakia Jafri case.

Last month, a court gave Modi a clean chit over his alleged involvement in the 2002 post-Godhra carnage riots.

Besides Setalvad, Anand and Jafri, the others named in the FIR were identified as Salim Sandhi and Feroz Gulzar Mohammed Pathan – who ran the Gulbarg society as chairman and secretary respectively. Both lost five of their family members in the massacre.

According to the DCB, one Feroz Saeedkhan Pathan has accused the five of circulating photographs and video footage of Gulbarg Society and other riot-affected areas on two websites wherein they also asked for donations. Pathan alleged that the funds collected were worth several crores and that Setalvad and others have siphoned off Rs. 1.51 crores for their personal use between 2007 and 2011.

It was learnt from a DCB official that the complainant has alleged that funds were collected promising help to the riot victims but the activists involved have breached the trust and spent the money collected otherwise. Pathan used to live in the society in 2002 and lost three of his family members in the massacre.

But a defiant Setalvad released a press statement where she said. "The sudden filing of this FIR soon after the Ahmedabad Magistrate's acceptance of the SIT report in the Zakia Jafri versus Narendra Modi and 59 Others case is not without significance. The SIT had outsourced its work to DCP Crime Branch, Himanshu Shukla and the head of the same Crime Branch, AK Sharma, who had handled the investigation last year. It was the same SIT that had made vile allegations against complainant Zakia Jafri and Yeesta Setalvad during the hearing of the petition. The timing of this FIR replete with a threat of arrest is seen by us as efforts to prevent prompt filing of appeal in the Zakia Jafri case against Narendra Modi and 59 others."

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