Several Gujarat-based social and human rights activists have come in defence of activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, who are being investigated by the CBI.
Activists have alleged that the BJP-led central government was “misusing CBI to harass the human rights defenders”.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the activists said that Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP) representatives Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand were being continuously harassed ever since BJP-led government came to power at the Centre.
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The activists said that “the country has witnessed strenuous efforts by officials to foist a large variety of charges of financial irregularity on them, to harass them, to tarnish their reputations, and to secure their arrests since installation of the BJP-led Government in Delhi in May 2014”.
“Fortunately, the interventions of the higher judiciary have protected them so far”, the activists pointed out.
“But the latest raids by the CBI at their home and offices in Mumbai on July 14, 2015, are signs of continuing misuse of official bodies to harass these human rights defenders,” activists observed.
Urging the Central Govt. and the CBI “to desist from employing such deplorable tactics which are inspired by nothing but malice and revenge”, the activists said that “the government and CBI should know that democratic forces and the human rights movement in the country stand in support of both Teesta and Javed and such brutal efforts to silence the voices of dissent will be duly resisted”.
Signatories of the statement include former chief minister Suresh Mehta, senior advocate Girish Patel, Peoples Union for Civil Liberties representative Gautam Thaker, journalist Prakash Shah, Rohit Shukla, Dwarika Nath Rath, J S Bandukwala, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Harinesh Pandya, Mehrunnisa Desai, Ikram Mirza and Hiren Gandhi.