A team of 16 officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation, (CBI) on Tuesday morning, raided civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad’s residence and office, in Mumbai. The CBI raid is a follow-up to the case registered against Setalvad on July 8, for allegedly receiving “illegal” foreign aid.
Teesta Setalvad has come out strongly against CBI’s action, questioning the rationale behind it, when she had already assured the federal agency of full cooperation, in the case where she has been booked for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). “This is vendetta by the BJP. They are trying to humiliate us”, she said, adding, “The Vyapam scam has killed 60-odd people, yet the CBI is busy with this”.
The FIR also named Teesta’s husband, Javed Anand and Gulam Mohammed Peshimam, directors of Sabrang Communications and Publishing, and founders of ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’- an NGO working for 2002 Gujarat riot victims. Currently, Sabrang’s bank account details and other documents are under CBI’s scrutiny, for “illegal” acceptance of foreign aid.
During the FCRA probe, Home Ministry officials had found that Teesta and her husband Javed were supposedly receiving foreign funds for their magazine “Communalism Combat” and Sabrang Communications. As per rules, no organization or firm can accept foreign aid if not registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
Teesta Setalvad, a leading activist in the 2002 Gujarat riots victims’ struggle for justice, has been in continuous conflict with the Gujarat state authorities as she has played a pioneering role in registering cases against state officials, including the then CM of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. According to her, she is being targeted by the State.
Setalvad and her husband have been booked under a series of cases, including embezzlement of funds for the construction of the ‘Museum of Resistance’ in the riot-hit Gulbarg society of Ahmedabad.
According to the CBI, the accused trio will have to face five years of imprisonment if found guilty under the rules of FCRA.