Protest in Delhi against arrest of Teesta Setalvad, voice of victims of Gujarat massacre

New Delhi, June 28 (KMS): Students, teachers, activists and civil society members staged a protest in New Delhi against the arrest of Teesta Setalvad by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad, calling it a “pre-planned conspiracy” and an attempt to “silence” other activists.

Teesta Setalvad is an Indian civil rights activist and journalist. She is the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, an organisation formed to advocate for the victims of 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim riots, carried out under the supervision of Narendra Modi, the-then chief minister of the Indian state.

Senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken also joined the protest, held at Jantar Mantar in the Indian capital.

Around 300 protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar and raised slogans demanding the release of Setalvad and former IPS officers R B Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt, who have been accused of “criminal conspiracy, forgery and placing false evidence in court to frame innocent people” in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Congress leader Maken said his party stood by the three activists and demanded their release at the earliest.

Activist Shabnam Hashmi told the media: “We think it’s a pre-planned conspiracy because there is no way that the Supreme Court comes out with a judgment on June 25 and the same day an FIR was lodged and Teesta was arrested…. We strongly condemn it.”

Hashmi said the arrest was an attempt by the Modi government to “silence” and “frighten” other activists in the country.

“We know that they’re giving a signal to all the activists who have been raising their voice. This is an attempt to silence and frighten them but this country is not going to be frightened,” she said. She demanded that the trio be released and the FIR quashed.