Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has expressed strong support for noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and denounced the Gujarat Government for bringing frivolous charges motivated by political vendetta against the activist.
Teesta Setalvad is the Secretary of the Mumbai-based human rights group Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), and one of the leading campaigners for justice for the victims of Gujarat genocide in 2002. Her unwavering pursuit for justice for Gujarat victims has resulted in convictions of 117 individuals involved in Gujarat genocide including Ms. Maya Kodnani who was a minister in then Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat cabinet.
“We are deeply alarmed at the victimization of Ms. Setalvad at the hands of the Gujarat police, based upon trumped up charges of embezzlement of funds at Citizens for Justice and Peace,” noted Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC. “These are frivolous allegations against an acclaimed human rights activist with an unblemished track record of social work. These allegations have no merit, given the trustees and the independent auditors of CJP have confirmed that their examination of CJP’s accounts found no signs of embezzlement,” added Mr. Malick.
Commenting on the case, Mr. Siraj Mohammed, General Secretary of IAMC stated, “Given Gujarat Police’s deplorable record of pursuing frivolous cases and victimization of Ms. Setalvad, we call for an independent agency outside of Gujarat to investigate these charges under the supervision of Supreme Court.” In 2012, the Supreme Court had strongly denounced the Gujarat government for bringing yet another spurious case against Ms. Setalvad related to exhumation of bodies of 2002 riot victims. “This is a hundred percent spurious case to victimize the petitioner (Ms. Setalvad),” observed the court. “This type of case does no credit to the state of Gujarat in any way,” it further added.
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation.