Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Zahira Sheikh accuses Teesta Setalvad, NHRC

March 29th

how come there is a thunderous silence on the part of the indian english language media in the wake of these dramatic accusations?

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Probe Setalvad, Zahira urges Supreme Court

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Zahira Sheikh, a key witness in the case
relating to the 2002 massacre in a Gujarat bakery, Tuesday urged the
Supreme Court to probe the assets of rights activist Teesta Setalvad,
who had been pressing for a retrial of the case outside the state in
the interests of justice.

In an affidavit filed before an inquiry committee of the Supreme
Court, Zahira also questioned the basis on which the National Human
Rights Commission (NHRC) had asked for 12 cases relating to the case
to be transferred outside the state.

Fourteen people were torched to death in the ovens of the Best Bakery
in Vadodara on March 1, 2002, during the Gujarat riots.

Zahira alleged in the affidavit that Setalvad and her husband had
amassed huge wealth through dubious means and that their Mumbai-based
NGO Communalism Combat was a business venture of a company known as
Sabrang Publications Private Ltd.

The NGO was a mere device to avoid the provisions of Foreign
Contributions Regulations Act that required every NGO to disclose the
contributions it received from abroad, she said.

Zahira also questioned US State Department reports for 2003-04
presenting Best Bakery as a notorious case depicting a communalised
Gujarat.

"The US State Department has set aside several lakhs (millions) of
dollars for funding litigation aimed at bringing legal redress to
Muslims in Gujarat. I am applying to this programme for aid and
assistance so that I may be able to explain to the world at large the
exploitation in the name of secularism and protection of Muslims by
persons like Setalvad," Zahira maintained.

She also enclosed documents relating to her bank accounts to disprove
the allegation that she was bribed to change her stand.

Zahira said NHRC records should be summoned to ascertain what she had
said and what the commission had stated in an affidavit filed before
the court.

Zahira was asked to give all the details of bank accounts to the
inquiry committee since Setalvad had accused her of having accepted a
bribe to change her stand.

Stating that the NHRC chairman and two members were present during the
recording of her statement, she said: "I would like my lawyer to
examine the chairman of the NHRC in respect of her statement, which
formed part of the affidavit filed on behalf of the human rights
body."

According to her, what the commission had recorded and what was filed
in the Supreme Court by the NHRC was completely different.

Setalvad had filed an application in the Supreme Court Nov 6, 2004,
demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the
circumstances that led Zahira to reverse her statement in Vadodara Nov
3 that she was not pressurised into turning hostile in the court that
was trying the Best Bakery case.

With Zahira and other witnesses turning hostile, the trial court had
acquitted all the 21 accused in the case.

The case is now being retried in a Mumbai court after Zahira
petitioned the Supreme Court against the acquittals.

The Supreme Court had Jan 10 constituted a committee headed by its
Registrar General B.M. Gupta, who had co-opted Delhi's Joint
Commissioner of Police Kanwaljeet Deol as the other member. The
committee was asked to find out whether Zahira's statement that she
had not filed any affidavit in the case before the apex court and her
allegations against Setalvad that she had coerced her were correct or
not.

[IANS]

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yo. off topic, but nun-da-less:

I love all these art-chicks man. So cute in thier Khadi Shalwars and Lamp-blacked eyes... And that zest for uplifting the downtrodden! Definately uplifted my downtrodden... *nudge/wink*

DU, I salute you for producing these airheads par excellecne... these candle kissing (ha ha, u dirty mind) bleedin-heart jholawalis. Now if you only gave out a manual as how to get one of these chicks in the sack? When they are not doped out, they prefer to bang their jholawalla colleagues! Damn, the Merc does not cut it with them. What do I need to do, wear khadi? Buy them ethnic chic from Delhi Haat? Or maybe some Manali black will do!

Any agonee aunties out there? Or do I stick to my Dumb Belles...?

(Was Teesta Setalwad hot when she was younger? And do all the NGO-babes turn out to be like her when they get older?)

:D

Anonymous said...

Heh, Rajeev
Going by the previous posts, looks like you are attracting quite a lowly crowd to your blog! Wonder if it has anything to do with the mindless jingoism that you spew in the name of being a "Hindu nationalist"..Maybe there are better ways to put your Hindu point of view across rather than just spewing venom on some people who go out there and do some good.
Otherwise, you'll end up attracting people who are with you to bash someone rather than to help bring change. I hope you can see the difference..
Well, till then, happy smoozing around with people like the previous anon blogger! :-)

Indidoc said...

The very purpose of the baove post was "satirical". There are some people who are bound to feel offended; but then it is Rajeev's blog; he has the right to allow people to post anonymously. I d agree to an extent to get Teesta in the "sack", but it doesnt seem to be worth it!
This is the real tragedy of Indian media as we see it in front of our own eyes. Selective disclosures and leaks. Media never had worse.
Perhaps that explains why the Government needs a mouth peice to project itself. Media control gives a perfect ploy to keep it that way- the subjects under subjugation. As Mr Rajeev pointed up in the opening statement about the "thunderous silence"; it is not surprising that it has not happened before. Why the media has conviniently forgotten the tabling of Sikh Riots report? Noone in the newspapers are bringing this out.
There was a report in Christian Agression.org which mentions the ploy of the "foreign powers" to prop up characters like Teesta and her ilk( Amartya sen? Arundhati Roy? Medha Patkar? Action Aid's Harsh Mander? Kulpid Nayar?) to support for "secular ideals" and "equality". Then the whored media happily reports the "awards" and felicitations" that these people get with "help from friends" in the "right places".
As for the post which says that we need to bring about a change; then spread word about this place and make the people aware at your own level about the perfidies. Being "drawing room nationalists" doesnt help because it would make no difference to those who are already in the limelight. Mull over this thought.

Indidoc said...

The very purpose of the baove post was "satirical". There are some people who are bound to feel offended; but then it is Rajeev's blog; he has the right to allow people to post anonymously. I d agree to an extent to get Teesta in the "sack", but it doesnt seem to be worth it!
This is the real tragedy of Indian media as we see it in front of our own eyes. Selective disclosures and leaks. Media never had worse.
Perhaps that explains why the Government needs a mouth peice to project itself. Media control gives a perfect ploy to keep it that way- the subjects under subjugation. As Mr Rajeev pointed up in the opening statement about the "thunderous silence"; it is not surprising that it has not happened before. Why the media has conviniently forgotten the tabling of Sikh Riots report? Noone in the newspapers are bringing this out.
There was a report in Christian Agression.org which mentions the ploy of the "foreign powers" to prop up characters like Teesta and her ilk( Amartya sen? Arundhati Roy? Medha Patkar? Action Aid's Harsh Mander? Kulpid Nayar?) to support for "secular ideals" and "equality". Then the whored media happily reports the "awards" and felicitations" that these people get with "help from friends" in the "right places".
As for the post which says that we need to bring about a change; then spread word about this place and make the people aware at your own level about the perfidies. Being "drawing room nationalists" doesnt help because it would make no difference to those who are already in the limelight. Mull over this thought.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous2 above is such a hypocrite! Anonymous1 is at least straightforward in saying these jholawalis are dumb and that he finds that sexy. What is the 'change' Anonymous2 is talking about? Is it the 'change' in Teesta Setalvad's finances as a result of large Saudi, Pakistani and missionary donations? Is it the 'change' brought about by AID and ASHA for Education providing funds for anti-national buffoons like Sandeep Pandey? Change, schmange!

Anonymous said...

rajeev,
look at your audience:)
must be making you feel good to be the bigcheesse of the braindead.

yoddhä said...

Rajeev,
It is not surprising that the old left is criticizing a silly comment on your article than on your article itself. Teesta is facing *tough* questions and these people do not seem interested.
Not surprised are we?

Randhir Saxena said...

In an interview (http://www.humanscapeindia.net/humanscape/hs1199/hs11997t.htm, "The Displaced And The Dispossessed", Humanscape, November 1999), Setalvad clearly stated that the initiative was taken by Communalism Combat to seek funds from three political parties - the Congress, the Communist Party of India, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) - and 'ten prominent individuals'. The cost of the campaign was Rs 1.50 crores.

This interview took place after the elections were over. While the election process was on, Setalvad was asked about the source of finance. In The Asian Age (September 4, 1999), Setalvad had said that the support comes from four political parties, some corporate house and certain NGOs. In India Today (September 13, 1999), she said it was "from a wide spectrum of well-wishers including corporates, trade unions, women's group and NGOs." There is an axiom that it is very hard to be consistent when one is telling lies. The reports also said that Setalvad and her team for this campaign operated from the residence of a Congress leader, and worked closely with the media cell of the party.

Also, at
http://www.thehoot.org/story.asp?section=%E2%8C%A9=L1&storyid=Web21021416663Hoot115732+PM898&pn=1 Javed Anand, who along with wife Teesta has edited Communalism Combat for ten years, tells Jyoti Punwani ....

Q There were allegations that the Congress sponsored those ads.

A We couldn’t have run those ads without sponsors! The Congress was one of the sponsors, and we feel no shame about associating with the Congress. We’d do it again.



In http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=38720&headline=Exclusive:~Radical~Islam~poses~threat~to~India

When she made these charges I remembered other charges that had been made and contacted Teesta’s husband and partner, Javed Anand. He requested a list of questions which I sent and he answered, albeit in hurt tones that I should ask the same questions that had been raised by the ‘‘saffron brotherhood’’. In answer to a question, he said the magazine did not need to be registered as an NGO because it was not one. It was a private limited company, he said, that rendered accounts to the Income Tax Department. Fine. Though communalism is an odd subject to make a profit out of.

In http://iecolumnists.expressindia.com/full_column.php?content_id=60205

When Zaheera Sheikh charged that Teesta had exploited her for monetary gain I remembered that people often wondered about Communalism Combat’s funding and saw it as an NGO with an agenda. Inquiries with the Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra revealed that they were not listed as an NGO, so I rang Javed Anand and asked why not. He said it was because they were a private limited company. I asked him outright if he would like to answer the charge that Communalism Combat was funded with Saudi money. No insinuation there. The reason I asked was because an editor I know was once asked to edit a magazine on communalism and refused when it was revealed that money for the enterprise was coming from the Gulf.

In http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/nov/29varsha.htm

In September, India Today wrote: "According to media planners, the ad campaign should have cost some Rs 75 lakh," money Teesta claims to have raised 'from a wide spectrum of well-wishers including corporates, trade unions, women's groups and NGOs'." Really? But didn't you inform the Express that no other NGO contributed...? Can we see documentation to prove that Sabrang didn't use foreign funds? That it is not a front for foreign powers working against the "Hindu nationalist fundamentalist party"? After all, entities like the Vatican, the ISI, American evangelists, Arab countries, etc, have plenty of moolah to disperse


nizhal yoddha said...

awesome post, randhir saxena. the information you provide is compelling: the proverbial smoking gun. so zahira sheikh may well be right in her accusations about teesta setalvad and family making plenty of money from foreign sources and flouting indian laws with disdain.

Randhir Saxena said...

You are welcome Nizhal.

If you'll observe, most of the question regarding Teesta's finances have been raised in '99 which is about 3 years before Godhara.

Which bring up related questions as to who knew about Godhara before Feb 02? Who had to gain from Godhara incident?

Anonymous said...

Teesta Setalwad / SABRANG COMMUNICATIONS / COMMUNALISM COMBAT are funded by many sources. Some of them are obvious when you look at the sort of "maps" they hosted on their website during the Kargil war.

Look at this site: it merely lists facts.

http://www.geocities.com/charcha_2000/essays/sabrang_foil_sacw.html
Sabrang hides Pakistan Approved Map With Bad Grace & Ludicrous Excuses

Teesta's standards of honesty are very clear from there - its easy to gauge right from there who is telling the truth - Teesta or Zaheera.

As for the sequence of posts above, lets see -

1. Rajeev posts a serious article about the corruption and probable sedition of the so-called "Communalism Combat" and "Human Rights Activists" gangs. The points he makes, with clear proof and direct quotes, are damning.

2. Whammo! Someone rushes in and post something irrelevant like "ooo! I am so sexcited". Look at the START of that post - and its clear that the intent is to say, "well, who cares if Teesta is a crook.." AND- with amazing alacrity, the Left rushes in to discredit Rajeev.

Where was this used before? Its all too familiar. In 2003, some people, after trying very sincerely to get Professor Paul "Limp Phaulus" Courtright (his words, not mine) and Emory University to quit "teaching" pornography in the name of Hinduism, finally posted an internet petition giving EXACT QUOTES and NOTHING ELSE from that pornographer's book. Whammo! In came the "Left" and posted some so-called "Death threats" against Limp Phaulus.

And - hey, get this - within minutes, Emory's PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT (not security department) had called up the website and demanded that the Petition be removed.

Limp Phaulus has been whining ever since about "terrorism vs. Academic Freedom" etc., ignoring the fact that HE is the damned porno-peddling terrorist.

Note that the same Emory university could not respond in WEEKS to the serious charges against Limp Phaulus Courtright. Q.E.D.

Same tactic being followed here, Rajeev. As for any personal qualities of Ms. Setalwad, well... what matters is her level of integrity, and there's nothing attractive there, sorry. Its downright ugly. Her campaigns are clearly funded from abroad, and she has clearly been getting away with flagrant violations of the Law of India - publishing that Pakistan-Approved map of "South Asia" and teaching that to Indian schoolchildren. Her mission appears to be to make sure that communal hatreds are ALWAYS alive and well in India.

Why has she not been arrested? The Mumbai police also in the "take"?

Anonymous said...

More on Teesta Setalwad's foreign funding sources:

Here is one- the SINGH FOUNDATION of Biju Mathew and Vijay Prashad - known Marxist Communist agents. SINGH stands for "Secular India's National Growth and Harmony" about as bogus a name as you can imagine.

Look at this excerpt from BIJU MATHEW's exhortation to the students at RIDER UNIVERSITY:

“Communalism Combat” http://www1.rider.edu/%7Ewebcis/mathew/ccmain.html
"CC has however, run into rough weather. Both the editors quit their respective full time jobs to undertake this project. In addition, the magazine has this far run on subscriptions only. After publishing a combined July-August issue, CC suspended further publication till November 1995 so as to re-group and raise a core fund that will help CC survive as a long term project. Read the SOS sent out by Anand and Setalavad."

...
"““To put it on a personal note, when we both left our jobs over two years ago, we were jointly earning around Rs.25,000 p.m. Our labour apart, we have since managed with just Rs.10,000 p.m. and have both declined job offers which would have meant well over Rs.25,000 p.m for either one of us. This is not to tell you about the great "spirit of sacrifice” -.. . While we are on the subject, may we make a suggestion to individuals and groups from the U.S. (and possibly Canada, too) who would like to respond to this SOS. As many of you are already aware the New York-based "Singh Foundation" .. is registered as a charity under U.S. law and donations to it are entitled to tax benefits. You might wish to consider the option of multiplying your contribution to us -- at no extra cost to yourself -- by directing your subscriptions to us through "Singh Foundation” or some other such trust. Waiting anxiously for a reply and with warm regards. - Javed Anand, Teesta Setalvad "

That was pre-Godhra, maybe circa 2001.

Now look at their finances since then - enough to publish glossy magazines, take out full-page ads in the news-for-sale Indian "news"papers like Times of Islamabad, write Affidavits for poor riot victims like Zaheera Shaikh to sign in their traumatized state, and then face the choice of perjury or false punishment.

The Indian press' treatment of poor Ms. Zaheera Shaikh is a blot on Indian journalism for all time.

Have Teesta's sponsors also bought the courts, I wonder?

Akhil Lacchani said...

Very interesting discussion here. I always wondered as to how Ms. Teesta Setalvaad could afford a house at Juhu-Tara road and office in Juhu area. If you are from Mumbai, you'll know the location and it's real estate price.