On the Hounding of Teesta Setalvad and other Activists
Facts of the Case:
Adv. Kamini Jaiswal
Adv. Ramesh Pukhrambam
Prof. Madhu Prasad
Other Speakers: Justice Sachar . Harsh Mander . Shabnam Hashmi . Siddharth Varadarajan . Manoj Mitta
Members of the Jury:
27 July (Monday), Press Club, New Delhi, 2 pm – 6 pm
Jan Awaz, Jan Hastakshep, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties Rajasthan and Delhi (PUCL), Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Swaraj Abhiyan and many others
Since the new government came into power in May 2014, there has been a relentless targeting of activists and organizations working on issues of secularism, justice and environment. Accounts of organizations are being frozen, right to travel curtailed through bogus notifications, and even worse, malicious criminal cases are being foisted on activists to break their spirit.
The attack on Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand and their colleagues in Centre for Justice and Peace, has been particularly brazen. Following the CBI’s raid on their homes and offices, the threat of their arrest is very real. The link between this ‘legal’ hounding and the struggle for justice for the survivors of Gujarat massacre of Muslims in 2002 is very obvious. The pursuit of legal cases, many of which have ended in convictions including that of former minister in Modi’s government, Maya Kodnani, has made this group of activists a target for vicious and vindictive actions.
Given the misinformation campaign unleashed by the CBI and the Gujarat Crime Branch, we feel it is important to place all the facts in the public domain. An open scrutiny and examination of the relevant facts by an eminent panel of citizens will serve as an important exercise.
A platform of democratic groups and activists is organizing a public hearing on the hounding of Teesta Setalvad and her colleagues, and the wider implications such a witch-hunt has for the health of our democracy.