The Gujarat government has opposed the petition filed by socialactivist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand seeking quashing of theFIR filed against them for alleged misappropriation of funds, saying that thecouple had cheated victims of 2002 Godhra riots and embezzled funds collectedin their name. The Gujarat government stated this in affidavit filed before the Bombay high court on Tuesday.
The affidavit was filed in response to the petition filed bySetalvad and Anand seeking quashing of the FIR lodged against them in Gujaratand challenging the police's move of freezing their and their trusts' bankaccounts operated from Mumbai. The affidavit filed by K N Patel, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad Crime Branch states that the accused persons (Setalvad and Anand) in the name of promoting communal harmony collected huge sums of money from foreign and cheated the complainant and several others.
The affidavit reads: "The Citizens for Justice and Peace trustreceived Rs 4.97 crores as foreign funds from February 2004, when it wasregistered, till January 2014. The Sabrang Trust, which was registered in April2007, has received Rs 2.63 crores as funds from foreign till February 2014." "Substantial sums have been paid from these accounts towardsmeeting personal expenses of Javed Anand and also for investing in fixeddeposits. Money withdrawn from the trust accounts were diverted to the personalaccounts of the accused persons and also invested in shares and mutual funds," adds the affidavit.
It added that the Sabrang Trust had only three trustees - Setalvad,Javed and Amili Setalvad (Setalvad's sister). "Hence it may be called a familytrust created especially for receiving foreign funds," states the affidavit. One of the riot victims from Gulbarg housing society, whichwas burnt during the 2002 Godhra riots, had lodged a complaint with theAhmedabad police against Setalvad, Anand and the NGOs run by them - Citizensfor Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust.
According to the complaint, the accused persons had allegedlycollected funds in the name of converting part of the Gulbarg society into amuseum and had allegedly misappropriated funds worth Rs 1.51 crores. Setalvad and Anand had claimed that they have been implicatedin the case and are victims of political vendetta. They claim that they arebeing targeted by the perpetrators of the riots.