Teesta cheated Godhra 2002 riots victims
Opposing the petition filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband seeking quashing of an FIR against them
Mumbai: Opposing the petition filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband seeking quashing of an FIR against them for alleged misappropriation of funds, Gujarat police on tuesday told Bombay High Court that the duo had cheated victims of 2002 Godhra riots and “embezzled funds” collected in their name.
This was stated in an affidavit filed by the Cyber Crime Cell, Ahmedabad Crime Branch in response to Teesta and her husband Javed Anand’s petition seeking quashing of the FIR lodged in Gujarat and challenging the police’s move of freezing their and their trusts’ bank accounts operated from Mumbai.
Teesta and Javed had said that they were implicated in the case and were victims of political vendetta. They claimed that they were being targeted by the “perpetrators ofthe riots.”
The affidavit was submitted today before a division bench headed by Justice N H Patil which posted the matter for hearing on March 20.
One of the riot victims from Gulbarg housing society, which was burnt during the 2002 Godhra riots, had lodged a complaint with the Ahmedabad police against Teesta, Anand and the NGOs run by them – Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust.
According to the complaint, the accused persons had allegedly collected funds in the name of converting part of the Gulbarg society into a museum and had allegedly misappropriated funds worth Rs 1.51 crores.
The Gujarat police in its affidavit said the accused persons (Teesta and Javed) in the name of promoting communal harmony collected huge amount of foreign funds and cheated the complainant and several others.
“The Citizens for Justice and Peace trust received Rs 4.97 crores as foreign funds from February 2004, when it was registered, till January 2014. The Sabrang Trust, which was registered in April 2007, has received Rs 2.63 crores as funds from foreign till February 2014,” the affidavit filed by K N Patel, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad Crime Branch said.
“Substantial sums have been paid from these accounts towards meeting personal expenses of Javed Anand and also for investing in fixed deposits. Money withdrawn from the trust accounts were diverted to the personal accounts of the accused persons and also invested in shares and mutual funds,” the affidavit said.
It added that the Sabrang Trust had only three trustees – Teesta, Javed and Amili Setalvad (Teesta’s sister). “Hence it may be called a family trust created specially for receiving foreign funds,” it said.