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New SIT quizzes Teesta Setalvad, ex-cop; to vet old documents

The Times of India logo The Times of India 28-06-2022
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AHMEDABAD: The special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe charges of fabrication of evidence against activist Teesta Setalvad, former DGP R B Sreekumar, and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt began an inquiry into the case on Monday and interrogated Setalvad and Sreekumar.

The newly formed SIT will analyse the documents of the SIT appointed in 2008 by the Supreme Court and headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan. The old SIT had probed whether the state's functionaries were involved in the 2002 riots.

"We will examine all the documents, especially the affidavits, filed with the 2008 SIT and with the Justice Nanavati panel that had inquired into the 2002 riots," said an officer of the SIT.

The apex court had on June 24 dismissed a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, the wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the February 28, 2002 massacre at Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society.

The petition filed by Jafri and Setalvad had demanded a probe into the "larger conspiracy". The petition had challenged the clean chit given to then chief minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in the post-Godhra riots.

A team headed by Gujarat ATS chief Deepan Bhadran, along with ATS SP Sunil Joshi and DCP (crime) Chaitanya Mandalik, on Monday jointly interrogated Setalvad and Sreekumar, who are in the custody of the Ahmedabad crime branch.

The two were arrested after the Ahmedabad crime branch filed a complaint against Setalvad, Sreekumar, and Bhatt over the alleged fabrication of documents with the intention to prosecute certain innocent people for the riots.

The SIT officer said the investigators will try to ascertain why and how the accused had prepared the fabricated documents and whether they were aided and instructed by some other people.

To a query about how the accused had hatched the conspiracy and when they had met for the first time, the officer said: "The investigation is at a very early stage and it will take a few days to gather more evidence to establish how they had conspired against innocent persons."

Police officials said that Bhadran and all the officers of the SIT will camp at the Ahmedabad crime branch office in Raikhad to interrogate the accused. On Bhatt's arrest, another special investigation team officer said they were yet to move a transfer warrant in the case.

Denied venue twice, activists hold meet at lawyer’s office

Members of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Ahmedabad civil society had to change their venue twice to hold a meeting on Monday evening to express solidarity with recently arrested social activist Teesta Setalvad, former DGP R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.

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