Teesta Setalvad is a known anti-Sangh Parivar activist. A large section of the media treats her as a heroine, who is instrumental in getting ‘justice’ for the victims (of only one community, hundreds of Hindus also killed even after Godhra find no space either in the media nor for Teesta) of post-Godhra riots. On 19 February 2020 she was seen at Shaheen Bagh, Delhi.
Here, let us see what role she has played. Many things about her are not generally known. Some people wrongly think she started all this after the Godhra massacre of 27 February 2002 & subsequent riots (in which both Hindus and Muslims died and suffered). She started this anti-BJP, anti-Sangh Parivar campaign in 1993 after the Mumbai riots. Launched a magazine “Communalism Combat.” Her dangerous deeds on the issues of the 2002 riots need to be seen.
The Times of India’s report of 14 April 2009 was as under:
“NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat
riot incidents: SIT
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN Apr 14, 2009, 12.13pm IST
NEW DELHI: 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.
In a significant development, the SIT led by former CBI director R K Raghavan told the Supreme Court on Monday that the celebrated rights activist cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings.
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 rioters 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.”
After this, Teesta Setalvad denied that report of Times of India and claimed that the mention of tutoring witnesses was of the Gujarat Government, and not the SIT. Her CJP wrote an article of denial. This denial was published 2 days later (in the print edition on 16 April 2009) at the exact place and spot where the original article had been published the previous say (not in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column). This denial was responded to by a counter-article by The Times of India’s reporter at that very place on the same day [It was her denial vs Times of India’s counter-reply], wherein he said that the report was indeed of the SIT and not of the Gujarat Government.
This incidentally also shows how the ‘secularist’ newspapers behave. When The Times of India misquoted Narendra Modi on 3 March 2002 by falsely accusing him of using Newton’s Third Law, it did so in the headlines. It did not even publish Modi’s denial in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column until many days. Only a few days later did it publish Modi’s denial in a remote corner. While it should have immediately published a denial AT THE SAME PLACE with the same prominence.
Narendra Modi had never said such a thing and no other paper except for Times of India had carried the misquote in its original reportage. But later on, numerous editorials were penned on the basis of this canard. The quote in the said paper was immediately recycled and rehashed by the rest of the print and audio visual media. At that sensitive time, inflammatory and defamatory reporting was done by the ‘secularist’ media, which should have been prosecuted under the law. All his denials were thrown in the dustbin. In this case, Teesta’s denial should not have been published at the same place on the same page of the report, since it was a WRONG denial, and that report was indeed of the SIT.
Also note here that the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court with known anti-Modi judges like Arijit Pasayat and Aftab Alam debunked the claim of Sanjiv Bhat that he was present at the meeting of Narendra Modi with police offiers and other officials on the night of 27 February 2002 and blamed NGOs and Teesta Setalvad for forcibly trying to fabricate something against Narendra Modi. This SIT said that not only was Sanjiv Bhat not present in that meeting (“He asked Officer Rahul Sharma to find out if the late Haren Pandya was present in that meeting and also to tell Rahul Sharma his (Sanjiv Bhat’s) own mobile records. If Bhat was present then why would he need to ask Sharma if Pandya was present or not and the fact that he asked for his mobile records on the night of 27 February shows that he does not recollect his movements on the night of 27 Feb”) but Teesta Setalvad was fully aware of the truth and was a part of the conspiracy to frame and fabricate this lie against Modi along with Sanjiv Bhat.
To know the full truth of that 27 Feb meeting and the claim of Sanjiv Bhat, read this.
Teesta Setalvad herself admitted in an interview to SAB TV in December 2004 (Swati Chaturvedi was the anchor) that Combat Communalism was being given funds by the then CPI (M) government of West Bengal. Combat Communalism also gave full-page advertisements in English dailies in 1999 before the Lok Sabha polls urging people not to vote for the BJP. When it was asked how it managed to get funds (the ads cost more than 1.5 crore rupees), Teesta Setalvad admitted that Congress, Left etc. gave them money.
A must read article on this is in India Today weekly dated 5 April 2010 titled “Inhuman rights”, which says:
“Soon after the riots, the human rights activists and the Muslim witnesses had alleged that a pregnant woman Kausarbanu’s womb was ripped open by rioters and the foetus was flung out at the point of a sword. The gruesome incident was seen as the worst-possible example of medieval vandalism in the modern age. Last week, eight years after the alleged incident, Dr J.S. Kanoria, who conducted the post-mortem on Kausarbanu’s body on March 2, 2002, denied that any such incident had ever happened. Instead, he told the court: “After the post-mortem, I found that her foetus was intact and that she had died of burns suffered during the riot.” Later Kanoria, 40, told INDIA TODAY, “I have told the court what I had already written in my post-mortem report eight years ago. The press should have checked the report before believing that her womb was ripped open. As far as I remember, I did her post-mortem at noon on March 2, 2002.”
A careful study of the three police complaints, claiming that Kausarbanu’s womb was ripped open by the rioters, shows several loopholes. While one complaint accuses Guddu Chara, one of the main accused in the Naroda Patiya case, of ripping open Kausarbanu’s womb, extracting her foetus and flinging it with a sword; another complaint accuses Babu Bajrangi, yet another accused in the case, of doing the act. A third complaint, on the other hand, does not name the accused but describes the alleged act.”
To know the truth of that fake claim, read this article by us. The doctor who did the post mortem found the womb intact. On 18 March 2010, The Times of India reported the doctor’s testimony to the trial court given on 17 March 2010. In that report it said: “In April last year (2009), the Gujarat government argued before the SC on this case after SIT submitted a report in a sealed cover. The government’s claim was that SIT had refuted charges that Kausar Bano’s fetus was pulled out of her womb and killed by sword before her eyes by violent mob. Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi contended that such allegations levelled by an NGO were proved false by SIT report. (Our comment: The Supreme Court-appointed SIT had already said in its report in April 2009 that there is no truth in the allegation that Kausar Bano’s womb was ripped open and foetus taken out. Note that this SIT was appointed by highly anti-Modi judges like Aftab Alam, Arijit Pasayat etc). Nearly a year later, the doctor, considered a neutral government witness, has deposed the same before the trial court.”
So, Teesta’s guilt – subversion of truth. UTTERING STARK, INFLAMMATORY AND DEFAMATORY LIES by claiming that the womb was ripped open and the foetus was flung out at the point of a sword. Violation of 153-A of Indian Penal Code by instigating Muslims by infuriating them needlessly. Violation of Section 500 of IPC (Defamation), by needlessly blaming BJP and Narendra Modi for this and defaming them saying “Such medieval acts occurred under Modi’s rule”.
Also tarnishing the fair name of India worldwide, by needlessly fabricating such lies worldwide. The shocking part is that even after the SIT report quoted by The Times of India on 14 April 2009 saying that no woman’s womb was ripped open and fetus taken out, as well as doctor Kanoria showing his report of 2 March 2002 to the court in March 2010, Teesta continued to hold her ground and repeat the lie! What audacity. It is she who has to prove that such a thing ever happened, she has to show a post-mortem report saying that a womb was ripped open and not intact. She cannot do that, and can only lie.
The India Today (5 April 2010) report continues:
“Modi will also have reasons to smile at the affidavits filed by the Muslim witnesses in the SC in 2003 at the behest of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and Teesta Setalvad on the basis of which the trial in nine cases were stalled for six long years. The most glaring hole is in the affidavit of Nanumiya Malek, a key witness in the Naroda Gam case. In his affidavit before the SC filed on November 15, 2003, Malek stated that a newly married woman called Madina, who lost four of her relatives, including her husband in the riots, had been raped by the rioters.
Malek’s affidavit states: “I was witness to the crimes of murder and rape that took place on Madina and her family. I also saw seven people being burnt alive, including four orphans. I request the SC to keep the details of this rape victim confidential since she is alive and use it only for the purpose of trial and conviction of the rapists.” But on May 5, 2009, in his statement before the SIT, Malek said: “I had wrongly claimed that Madina had been raped. I made the charge because of Teesta Setalvad’s pressure. I kept on telling her not to include that charge in my affidavit, yet it was included.”
In her statement before the SIT on May 20, 2008, Madina, who has remarried now, said, “The charge made by Malek claiming that I was raped by a riotous mob is false. I wasn’t raped.When the riotous mob put my house on fire, I tried to run but was attacked by a rioter who injured me with a knife. Later I managed to merge in a Muslim crowd.”
This is direct evidence of fabrication done in this case. This is enough evidence to prosecute Teesta Setalvad in this case. The report also says :
“There are six other affidavits filed by different Muslim witnesses on November 15, 2003, that wantonly allege rape in the Naroda Gram and Naroda Patiya riot cases without giving any details. Interestingly, all the affidavits have a uniform language: “Over 110 persons were not simply killed, but raped and mutilated as well, including young children. We urge the SC to stay the trials and transfer them to a neighbouring state and also order fresh investigation.” The affidavits state that they had been filed at the behest of Setalvad and in the presence of her co-activist Rais Khan.
If this wasn’t enough, other glaring attempts by human rights activists to tutor witnesses have come to the fore. For example, soon after the Gulbarg massacre in which Ehsan Jafri was killed, nearly a dozenMuslim witnesses told the police that Jafri had fired in self-defence, killed a rioter and injured 14 others.They also said that this led the mob to resort to violence and attack Muslims in Gulbarg with vengeance. But almost half of them who deposed before the special court have retracted from this statement…
When the SIT started taking statements of witnesses in the Gulbarg Society case, around 20 witnesses came with typed statements. But the SIT objected to it, citing Section 161 of the CRPC, saying that the police must record the statement of a witness. So when the SIT forced the witnesses to give their statement during the interrogation, there was a vast difference between the ‘readymade typed’ statements and the oral evidence that the police had received earlier.
As a senior lawyer defending the accused puts it: “The witnesses under the influence of the human rights activists didn’t allow videotaping of their statements while they were being recorded. There is an obvious attempt on the part of activists to dictate not just the SIT, but also the courts.”
“Page 9 of the SIT report on the Gulbarga Society carnage on February 28, 2002, says: ‘Insistence of 19 witnesses to take on record their signed statements which according to them were prepared by Smt Teesta Setalvad and advocate Tirmiji’, the reference here is to witnesses giving signed computerized statements which were not accepted by the Investigating Officer (IO) as under Section 161 the officer is required to write the statement of witnesses after interrogating them personally. The SIT report says on page 10 ‘All of them had brought with them ready-made statements prepared on computer and requested IO to take them on record. IO explained to them that according to law they had to be questioned and examined and their statements reduced in writing by the IO.’ It goes on to say ‘On questioning them in respect of the typed statements, all 3 of them stated that the computerized prepared statements were given to them by Smt Teesta Setalvad and advocate Tirmiji and that they had merely signed and initialed on such prepared statements.’ The report goes on to say that ‘There are discrepancies between the prepared statements and statements recorded by the IO. In respect of 6 witnesses, there are contradictory statements relating to the names of the accused they were linking with (the) crime.’ Page 11 says, when ‘questioned about the discrepancies’, the six witnesses ‘stated that they had prepared the statements and not Setalvad and advocate Tirmiji’. In other words, the latter witnesses changed their version about who had prepared their signed statements…”
This is enough to know the tutoring of witnesses, creation of false ‘evidence’ by Teesta Setalvad. In any normal country, she would be prosecuted and be behind bars on basis of this information of the SIT. In India, of course, any attempt to prosecute her is condemned as ‘vindictive action’ and there is support garnered for her in global media outlets.
In January 2014, there was an FIR filed against her on the basis of complaints made by Gulbarg Society victims who alleged that Teesta pocketed money collected for the benefit of the victims. As expected, the apologists came to her defence alleging ‘vindictive action’ ignoring the statements of the victims completely.
The Teesta-defenders and apologists are guilty of implying that anyone can pocket money collected in name of victims and no complaint should be registered on basis of victims’ grievances that the money meant for them was pocketed by the collectors. The apologists included die-hard anti-RSS activists and included most biased judges as well. They were Romila Thapar (Professor Emerita of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University); Justice B.N. Srikrishna (former judge of the Supreme Court of India); Deepak Nayyar (distinguished economist, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi); Justice P.B. Sawant (former judge of the Supreme Court and former chairman of the Press Council of India, and also a judge who was a part of the Concerned Citizens Tribunal, which gave a ridiculous & fake report full of lies on the 2002 violence, and whitewashed the heinous crime of Muslims of Godhra by ruling out that any mob had torched the train!); Kuldip Nayar (senior columnist and author); Nirupam Sen (former Indian ambassador to the United Nations); and Justice B.G. Kolse Patil (former judge of the Bombay High Court, but another credibility-less anti-Hindu fanatic, who alleged that Hemant Karkare was killed by Hindutva-minded policemen on 26/11, and that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee always took women with him on his foreign trips).
Among other crimes Setalvad wrote in her article “What ails Gujarat- I and II” published in CPM party weekly Peoples Democracy in July 2006: “There was a state sponsored genocide of Muslims in Gujarat in which 2500 Muslims were killed”. Her words in her article are “Ironically for at least five years before the state sponsored genocide that shocked to the root, Indian democracy and secularism, the signs were there. Arms training camps by the RSS/VHP/BD, trisul diksha ceremonies that were arming youth with manipulated and malevolent tales against the minority and infiltration of state and civil society organizations to sing Hindutva’s tune. Since 2002, over 220 persons are officially, by Gujarat state government records recognized as missing after the 2002 carnage in which 2,500 persons belonging to one community were massacred.”
This is also enough evidence to prosecute her. First there was no genocide in Gujarat at all- Muslims were equally on the offensive even after Godhra. Second, there was no ‘state- sponsoring’; far from being a party to the violence the state government managed to actually stop riots in 3 days. All evidences of this are given in www.gujaratriots.com
Thirdly 2500 Muslims were not killed; as per UPA Government’s figures 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed. For inflating the number of Muslims killed and ignoring the Hindus killed, too, she can be prosecuted. Again, instigating Muslims, blatant violation of 153-A, and Section 500 by defaming the BJP and Gujarat Government through exaggeration and stark lies, by Teesta.
Another lie – she claims that over
120 people were killed in Naroda Patiya and that too before the 7 year period
expired. The fact is even after the 7 year period expired and all missing were
declared dead, the number of people killed in Naroda Patiya is 95 and earlier
figure was 84. Setalvad deliberately exaggerates the number of people killed
despite knowing fully well the true number so as to malign the BJP and Narendra
Modi. By that logic if she gives 2500 as the number of Muslims killed in the
riots, 1700 more than the true number, then others can say 1759 Hindus were
killed by Muslims in Godhra, which will be 1700 more than the true number of
59. If right-wingers do that, allegations will be made against them for
exaggerating and instigating Hindus, inflaming Hindu sentiments!
This article just covers *some* of Teesta’s misdeeds. To know many more of her issues, many more articles will be needed. The mainstream media, eg channels like NDTV, Aaj Tak, India Today, etc are fully aware of all these acts of Teesta Setalvad, but chose to cover up and suppress all of them, lest her reality be exposed. Hopefully, we will expose more of her misdeeds in some more articles.
[Some part of this article was first published by us here]