- Teesta Setalvad/CPI(M) bribed riot witnesses before trial, threatened others
- Teesta Setalvad willfully fabricated and submitted incorrect information to Courts
Gujarat riot myths busted
Special Investigation Team (SIT) gave sufficient grounds for the apex court to doubt the authenticity of incidents highlighted by her NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace.NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT
The SIT, headed by former CBI Director RK Raghavan along with former DGP CB Satpathy and three senior IPS officers — Geetha Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia — had been entrusted with the enquiry into post-Godhra riot incidents in Godhra, Gulbarg Society, Naroda Gaon, Naroda Patiya and Sardarpura.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the State, read out portions of the report that refuted the petitioner’s charge of the State’s complicity in the riots.
Pointing out a specific instance, the SIT report stated how the evidence of 22 witnesses was “suspect” owing to the identical submissions made in their affidavits submitted to the court. On enquiry, the SIT found that all the 22 affidavits were drafted, typed and printed from the same computer, giving sufficient grounds to believe they were “tutored”. When the SIT questioned those who signed the affidavits, it was shocked to learn that these complainants were not even aware of the incidents.
Referring to another instance that exposed the Citizens for Justice and Peace’s much ‘trumpeted’ charges, Rohtagi said the SIT investigation found untrue allegation about a gangrape of a pregnant woman Kauser Bano, whose stomach was allegedly pierced by sword and her foetus killed.
Even the instance of dumping of bodies into a well at Naroda Patiya and a charge of the police allegedly shielding accused persons in murder of a British national was found to be untrue, Rohtagi said.
Firing a salvo at the NGO, Rohtagi said, “It is clear from the report that the horrendous allegations made by the NGO were false. Cyclostyled affidavits were supplied by a social activist and the allegations made in them were untrue,” he added, with an obvious reference to Setalvad.
The Special Investigation Team responsible for the arrests of those accused in Gujarat riots has severely censured NGOs and social activist Teesta Setalvad who campaigned for the riot victims.
Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, the SIT said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.
The SIT said it had been alleged in the Gulbarg Society case that Pandey, instead of taking measures to protect people facing the wrath of rioteers, was helping the mob. The truth was that he was helping with hospitalisation of riot victims and making arrangements for police bandobast, Gujarat counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, said quoting from the SIT report.
Rohtagi also said that 22 witnesses, who had submitted identical affidavits before various courts relating to riot incidents, were questioned by the SIT which found that they had been tutored and handed over the affidavits by Setalvad and that they had not actually witnessed the riot incidents.
The SIT also found no truth in the following incidents widely publicised by the NGOs:
* A pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons
* Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioteers at Naroda Patiya
* Police botching up investigation into the killing of British nationals, who were on a visit to Gujarat and unfortunately got caught in the riots
Rohtagi said: "On a reading of the report, it is clear that horrendous allegations made by the NGOs were false. Stereotyped affidavits were supplied by a social activist and the allegations made in them were found untrue."
Obviously happy with the fresh findings of the SIT which was responsible for the recent arrests of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodanani and VHP leader Jaideep Patel, Rohtagi tried to spruce up the image of the Modi administration, which was castigated in the Best Bakery case by the apex court as "modern day Neros"