Ex-Teesta aide, 3 others held for exhuming riot victims’ bodies
Ahmedabad: Four persons, including a former
aide of activist Teesta Setalvad, were on Tuesday arrested in
connection with a case pertaining to exhumation of bodies of
the 2002 riot victims in Panchmahal district, over four years
after being buried, police said.
Former coordinator of the NGO Centre for Justice and
Peace (CJP), headed by Setalvad, Rais Khan and three others--
Habibrasul Sayyed, Sikander Sheikh and Kutubshah Diwan-- today
surrendered before the Lunavada police investigating the case,
following which they were arrested and produced before a local
magistrate who remanded them in two-day police custody.
In 2002, the district administration had buried about 28
unidentified bodies of riot victims from Pandarwada and
surrounding villages of Khanpur taluka of Panchmahal district
at a graveyard near river Panam.
After over four years, Khan, who was then associated with
CJP, and 12 others exhumed these bodies without prior
permission of the government.
Following this, a criminal complaint was registered
against them against which they obtained anticipatory bail
from the Gujarat High Court and also a stay on further
investigation in the case.
The stay on investigation was lifted by the High Court in
November this year after which arrest warrants were issued
against the accused.
Khan has filed an affidavit in some of the riot cases
being investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed Special
Investigation Team (SIT), alleging that Setalvad had made riot
victims sign false affidavits after the post-Godhra riots.
He has also made similar statements before the Nanavati
Commission and the SIT probing the post-Godhra riot cases.