2002 gujarat riots

Did Teesta Setalvad buy liquor with money meant for Gujarat riot victims?

On Tuesday, a court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta Setalvad and others in the Gulberg Society Museum case. The Gujarat police have alleged that Setalvad used organisation funds for wining and dining. She responds.

An Ahmedabad sessions court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and others who have been accused of embezzling funds raised to build a museum to riot victims in Ahmedabad's Gulberg Society, where 69 people were killed during the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Setalvad and Anand  plan to appeal the Gujarat High Court, even as the Bombay High Court has reserved its judgment on their anticipatory bail plea. Scroll.in recently investigated the details of the case. Here are some of the charges that the Gujarat Police levelled against them in more recent affidavits, with Setalvad's responses to them.

Ahmedabad Police: Setalvad and Anand transferred Rs 14.2 lakhs from the bank account of their NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace, to clear their credit card expenses across five years between August 2009 and March 2014. The credit cards were used to buy wine, movie tickets and grocery items, thus showing that they used donor money meant for Gujarat riot victims for personal amusement.

Setalvad and Anand:  Since the organisations that Setalvad and Anand work for do not have their own credit cards, the activists use their personal cards to book air and train tickets for work-related travel. This has been done with the consent of the trustees and auditors of the organisation. These work-related expenses were reimbursed after verifying them.

They have also used their personal credit cards to buy wine, books, shoes, medicines, suitcases, haircuts and restaurant meals, "paid from their independent personal incomes", Setalvad said. However, the Gujarat police "have deliberately manipulated credit card details from the personal accounts of both...[to claim that these were] expenses incurred by them from public money".

She also noted, “Since we live in the State of Maharashtra, and not Gujarat, there is nothing shocking on expenses on wine purchases, grocery, etc” paid for from their personal salaries. Gujarat is the only Indian state with prohibition.

The Rs 14.2 lakhs spread across a period of almost five years works out to an average of Rs 25,000 per month. Given that their work requires them to travel frequently between Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi, this is a reasonable figure.

Ahmedabad Police: Lakhs of rupees were transferred from the NGO's account to the personal accounts of Setalvad and Anand and even their daughter Tamara, for several years.

Setalvad and Anand:  It's their monthly salary, Rs 48,000 each. Their daughter  received Rs 7,500 per month for her work in documenting and disseminating information.

Ahmedabad Police: They run several institutions from the same office but show different office expenses for each institution.

Setalvad and Anand: The offices of Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace and one more organisation operated from the same premises. The three organisations had three different and separate office spaces within the same area, different office equipments and staff, "both administrative and technical/project staff”. Hence the separate office expenses.

Ahmedabad Police: Setalvad has not submitted any corroboratory documents to the court along with her affidavit, and that her affidavits were mere diversionary tactics. Setalvad and Anand did not cooperate with the investigation and their anticipatory bail plea should be rejected so they could be interrogated in custody.

Setalvad and Anand: We've given the police all the documents they asked for.

 
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Movies can make you leap beyond what is possible

Movies have the power to inspire us like nothing else.

Why do we love watching movies? The question might be elementary, but one that generates a range of responses. If you had to visualise the world of movies on a spectrum, it would reflect vivid shades of human emotions like inspiration, thrill, fantasy, adventure, love, motivation and empathy - generating a universal appeal bigger than of any other art form.

“I distinctly remember when I first watched Mission Impossible I. The scene where Tom Cruise suspends himself from a ventilator to steal a hard drive is probably the first time I saw special effects, stunts and suspense combined so brilliantly.”  

— Shristi, 30

Beyond the vibe of a movie theatre and the smell of fresh popcorn, there is a deeply personal relationship one creates with films. And with increased access to movies on television channels like &flix, Zee Entertainment’s brand-new English movie channel, we can experience the magic of movies easily, in the comforts of our home.

The channel’s tagline ‘Leap Forth’ is a nod to the exciting and inspiring role that English cinema plays in our lives. Comparable to the pizazz of the movie premieres, the channel launched its logo and tagline through a big reveal on a billboard with Spider-Man in Mumbai, activated by 10,000 tweets from English movies buffs. Their impressive line-up of movies was also shown as part of the launch, enticing fans with new releases such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, The Dark Tower, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Life.

“Edgar Wright is my favourite writer and director. I got interested in film-making because of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the dead. I love his unique style of storytelling, especially in his latest movie Baby Driver.”

— Siddhant, 26

Indeed, movies can inspire us to ‘leap forth’ in our lives. They give us an out-of-this-world experience by showing us fantasy worlds full of magic and wonder, while being relatable through stories of love, kindness and courage. These movies help us escape the sameness of our everyday lives; expanding our imagination and inspiring us in different ways. The movie world is a window to a universe that is full of people’s imaginations and dreams. It’s vast, vivid and populated with space creatures, superheroes, dragons, mutants and artificial intelligence – making us root for the impossible. Speaking of which, the American science fiction blockbuster, Ghost in the Shell will be premiering on the 24th of June at 1:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M, only on &flix.

“I relate a lot to Peter Parker. I identified with his shy, dorky nature as well as his loyalty towards his friends. With great power, comes great responsibility is a killer line, one that I would remember for life. Of all the superheroes, I will always root for Spiderman”

— Apoorv, 21

There are a whole lot of movies between the ones that leave a lasting impression and ones that take us through an exhilarating two-hour-long ride. This wide range of movies is available on &flix. The channel’s extensive movie library includes over 450 great titles bringing one hit movie premiere every week. To get a taste of the exciting movies available on &flix, watch the video below:

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of &flix and not by the Scroll editorial team.