Target Teesta

In its alacrity and lack of proportion, CBI action against the activist invites accusations of vindictiveness.

By: Express News Service | Published:July 16, 2015 12:30 am
Teesta Setalvad, Teesta Setalvad case, CBI, Teesta Setalvad CBI, Teesta Setalvad funds, SCPPL funds, Teesta Setalvad foreign funds, ngo foreign funds, mumbai news, India news, indian express Teesta Setalvad at her home, Tuesday. (Express photo by: Amit Chakravarty)

The CBI raids at the office and home of Testate Setalvad in connection with the case against her — she allegedly accepted foreign donations without government clearance — are an instance of disproportionate action that invites suspicions of political motivation. Earlier this month, the CBI had registered a case after the Gujarat government last year claimed that Setalvad and her publishing firm, Sabrang Communications and Publishing, violated FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) regulations while receiving $2.9 lakh from the Ford Foundation. Setalvad has denied the allegations and called the CBI raids “shameful political vendetta” and “a continuation of the persecution and witch-hunt first launched by the Gujarat police in 2014”.

Setalvad’s accusations draw attention to the singular determination with which the Gujarat government has been pursuing cases against her and her organisations, after one of them, the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), set up soon after the 2002 Gujarat violence, got involved in the riot cases in an effort to expose the complicity of the government. Over a hundred persons, including a serving minister, have been jailed for their role in the communal violence. The cases continue to be fought in courts in Ahmedabad and in the Supreme Court. Setalvad and the CJP have diligently kept track of them, arranging legal and financial support for survivors. The CBI raids against Setalvad now come at a time when the final hearing on a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, the widow of the late Ehsan Jafri, the Congress MP who was killed by a mob in Ahmedabad, is set to begin in the SC.

The government’s determined pursuit of Setalvad — the CBI has acted with greater alacrity against her than it has shown in a plethora of cases that were arguably more deserving of its labours — provokes a question: Would the government machinery scrutinise the books of Sabrang as closely or read the legal fineprint back to the CJP if Setalvad were not involved in the cases of Gujarat 2002? When a government that was so indifferent for so long to entrusting the Vyapam scam to a Central agency, promptly calls in the CBI against the activist, it must be seen as troubling.

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  1. R
    Jul 17, 2015 at 1:20 am
    Why don't you explain whether it was legal for her to transfer money received by one trust to another company? Rather than write this silly piece?
    1. A
      Jul 19, 2015 at 11:57 am
      Teesta's zealotry in chasing up the 2002 riots rose in direct proportion to the covert backing she increasingly received from the Congress party. She is a motivated actor in this affair and not all her actions are backed by altruistic reasons.
      1. A
        Anuradha Kalhan
        Jul 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm
        Terror state! It is a shame that CBI is used like a goon.
      2. A
        A k
        Jul 20, 2015 at 11:48 pm
        Testa is surely a foreign agent who was working against BJP with help of congress.When she was dplaying in hands of congress to harm Hindus most of media was silent.such anti national elements need to be punished.
        1. D
          Jul 20, 2015 at 1:35 am
          If I, and individual, were to accept foreign funds, I'd be hauled up by the ED, tortured perhaps, and denied bail till I agreed to say whatever they wished me to. However, if I were ever a Modi baiter, I'd presumably escape consequences of violating the countries forex laws (Ms. Setalvad) and even something as serious as human trafficking (Ms. Sarabhai). This opinion is a shameful defence of privilege in law, for this new cl of Indians that call themselves "activists". Sorry, we need a clless society, not a new cl that can claim immunity from laws of the land. We already have one such cl - the politicos, and we know the havoc that their privileges have wreaked on our nation.
          1. N
            Jul 22, 2015 at 10:08 am
            what was teesta doing for last 12 years "vindictiveness" and now ur getting pain ever thought of people burnt alive in train why?"vindictiveness" shame on her she should taken in custody and #deshdroh charges be filled against her.
          2. G
            G YAGNESWARAN
            Jul 16, 2015 at 1:34 pm
            Highly motivated editorial. Who are these guys to say the investigations are disproportionate? The media houses ran campaigns after campaigns demonising Narendra Modi and quite obviously were benefited from such campaigns. Teesta and media houses including IE were partners in the unholy nexus is apparent even for ordinary citizens.
            1. G
              G YAGNESWARAN
              Jul 16, 2015 at 7:56 am
              It is pay back time for her notoriety.
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