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2002 Gujarat Riots: Probe Team Says Ahmed Patel Plotted Against Narendra Modi

The police claim that Teesta Setalvad was part of a "larger conspiracy" carried out at the behest of Patel.

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India
2 min read
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The Gujarat police has opposed activist Teesta Setalvad's bail application while claiming that she was a part of a "larger conspiracy" by Congress veteran Ahmed Patel against then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Ms Setalvad is one of the two persons arrested by Ahmedabad crime branch recently on the charge of conspiring to falsely implicate people in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

She was part of a "larger conspiracy" carried out at the behest of late Congress veteran Ahmed Patel to dismiss the BJP government in the state after the 2002 riots, claimed an affidavit filed by the police's Special Investigation Team before the sessions court.

A reaction from the Congress is awaited.

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Additional sessions judge DD Thakkar took the Special Investigation Team or SIT's reply on record and posted the hearing on the bail application on Monday.

Ms Setalvad has been arrested, along with former IPS officers RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt, for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame innocent people in Gujarat riots cases.

"The political objective of the applicant (Setalvad) while enacting this larger conspiracy was dismissal or destabilisation of the elected government... She obtained illegal financial and other benefits and rewards from rival political party in lieu of her attempts to wrongly implicate innocent persons in Gujarat," said the SIT's affidavit.

Citing the statements of a witness, the SIT said the conspiracy was carried out at the behest of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel. At Ahmed Patel's behest, Ms Setalvad received ₹ 30 lakh after post-Godhra riots in 2002, it alleged.

Ms Setalvad used to meet the leaders of a "prominent national party in power at that time in Delhi to implicate names of senior leaders of the BJP government in riot cases," the SIT further claimed.

It cited another witness to claim that Ms Setalvad in 2006 had asked a Congress leader why the party was giving "chance to only Shabana and Javed" and not making her a member of the Rajya Sabha.

Last month, a day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit given to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in Gujarat riots case, state police arrested Ms Setalvad.

She, along with Mr Sreekumar and Mr Bhatt, was charged under IPC sections 468 (forgery) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence) among other offences.

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