Kolkata: Amid the widespread condemnation of the arrest of Teesta Setalvad, a human rights activist and RB Sreekumar, former Director-General of Police, they were sent to five days of police custody by an Ahmedabad court. Whereas, political parties and civil societies strongly condemned the arresting of the human rights defender and hit the street across India.
The matter has also get heard internationally. The UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor expressed deep concerned and tweeted about it.
Left parties, including CPIML not only issued a statement condemning the arrest, but also held protest marches in Kolkata.
The press communiqué issued by ML’s central committee mentioned, “It is a sad day for India when the highest court of the land instigates the State to prosecute those who supported victims of targeted violence by Hindu-supremacist mobs, in their effort to make the connection between that violence and the Hindu-supremacist politics and actions of Narendra Modi who served as CM during the violence. We salute the courage of Zakia Jafri, Teesta Setalvad, Shreekumar, and others who did not falter in their pursuit of justice even when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.”
It further reads, “It does not augur well for a democracy when the Supreme Court inexplicably criminalises this pursuit of justice and calls for every person involved to be in the dock and proceed with in accordance with the law. Their arrest is a product of the vindictiveness of PM Modi and Home Minister Shah, enabled by the apex court of India.”
Left parties led by CPM’s Mohammed Salim hit the streets in Kolkata to condemned the arrest.
While ML members burnt the effigy of PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah.
The Joint Forum against NRC, which has been raising NRC issues in Bengal, also condemned the arrest of Teesta and ex-DGP Sreekumar by the Gujarat Crime Branch.
The joint forum statement mentioned, “This is a naked act of political vendetta against those who showed the courage to protest and expose the complicity of the Gujarat government in the post-Godhra pogroms of 2002.”
“It is well known by now that the larger conspiracy behind the Gujarat violence has been covered up through the SIT. While 11-foot soldiers of the RSS-VHP-Bajrang Dal were given life sentences for the gruesome massacre at Gulbarga Society; where 69 persons including ex-MP Ehsan Jafri were killed on February 28, 2002; the SIT exonerated government machinery including then chief minister Narendra Modi from charges of conspiracy. This was challenged in the courts by the ex-MP’s wife Zakia Ehsan Jafri and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad,” the statement added.
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, an umbrella body of civil society groups was holding a seminar — Religious Majoritarianism and Omnivorous Corporate Attacks in Ranchi condemned the arresting of Teesta during the meeting.
“It seems that the Supreme Court is not even ready to hear the question against those guilty of spreading communal violence in Gujarat after the Godhra accident in 2002 and for not stopping the violence. The indifferent attitude of the Court raises many serious questions. The government does not want any citizen to question the violence committed by them and demand accountability,” rued the Mahasabha leaders.
Besides them, the UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor expressed deep concerned on the arresting and seek her release, “Deeply concerned by the reports of #WHRD Teesta Setalvad being detained by Anti Terrorism Squad of Gujarat police. Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by #Indian state (sic).”
On Monday also, political parties and civil societies will protest against the arrests across India.