Gujarat riots: Allegations emerge against Setalvad

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 00:26

Ahmedabad: Former coordinator of NGO Center
for Justice and Peace (CJP) Rais Khan has alleged victims and
witnesses of 2002 Naroda gam riot case, were tutored, cheated
and made to sign false affidavits by social activist Teesta
Setalvad and claimed he can throw light on this.

In an application filed in the court of designated Judge
S H Vora hearing the Naroda gam riot case yesterday, Khan
has sought permission to be examined as a witness to clear
allegations leveled against him by some of the witnesses and
victims who had said he (Khan) had manipulated their
affidavits filed in the Supreme Court.
The court has scheduled the hearing on the application
for November 22.

After the riots, Khan had worked as a co-ordinator with
CJP, headed by Teesta Setalvad, from February 28, 2002 to
January 18, 2008.

According to Khan`s application, he was merely an
employee of CJP and his job was to get instructions from
Setalvad over phone, e-mails on day-to-day basis, contact riot
victims or witnesses in various parts of Gujarat and to pursue
them to join hands with CJP to file cases.

"I am an important link which can throw light on how the
victims and witnesses were tutored, cheated and made to sign
false affidavits by Teesta Setalvad in the name of `interest
of community`," Khan said in his application.

"With a view to bringing out the truth on record, I may
be examined as a prosecution witness and if the prosecution is
not inclined to examine me, then in the interest of justice, I
humbly pray that this court may examine me as a court witness
under Section 311 of CrPC, to prove that Nanumiya Malik,
Madina Banu and Imran Pathan had falsely implicated me and
lied before this court," Khan said.

He said he had not manipulated any of the affidavits as
alleged by Nanumiya, Madiana and Imran.
Khan said his duty as coordinator of CJP was limited?to
managing the affidavits and handing it over to Setalvad or her
advocate.

"How and where these affidavits were used was not part of
my duty. I am told that hundreds of such?false and fabricated
affidavits were filed by CJP in the Supreme Court to transfer
the riot cases outside Gujarat," he said.

Khan said he used to get fully prepared affidavits in
English on his email from Setalvad which he got notarised from
the witnesses/victims concerned and?send it back to her or
CJP`s advocate.

"Hundreds of affidavits were prepared in this fashion and
submitted in various courts. Most of the victims and witnesses
were poor and uneducated, but still their?affidavits were
prepared in English on the pretext that in the High Court and
the Supreme Court, Gujarati is not accepted," he added.

Khan said in the application that after the 2002 riots
when most of the victims were staying in relief camps, on
instructions from Setalvad he used to visit them and enquire
about the names and addresses of the accused.

Since most of the victims were just?running to save their
life, they were not in a position to recognise the accused, he
added.

"On the instructions of Setalvad, I use to prepare a list
of influential people of each locality, enquire about their
background and affiliation with the political party and
criminal cases pending against them, if any, and used to
forward it to Setalvad," Khan said.
"When most of the victims failed to give definite names
of the accused, they were asked to give names based on their
enmity with the persons in their locality to fix them," he
added.

"Accordingly, case wise names of accused and witnesses
were generally prepared and finalised in the relief camps and
the same were sent to Setalvad for preparing affidavits on
behalf of victims/witnesses," Khan said.

Khan also told the court that there was a threat to him
and his family.

"I can be attacked anytime by Teesta`s men for exposing
her activities. I know she is extremely influential and can do
anything with the help of central government. She even claims
that several Supreme Court & High Court judges know her
personally," he stated in the application.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 00:26

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