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2002 Riots Case: Gujarat Court Denies Bail to Teesta Setalvad & Ex-DGP Sreekumar

They were arrested following the Supreme Court's dismissal of Zakia Jafri's plea on 24 June.

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India
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A sessions court in Ahmedabad on Saturday, 30 July, denied bail to activist-journalist Teesta Setalvad and former Director General of Police (DGP) RB Sreekumar in a case of alleged fabrication of evidence related to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The court had on Friday, 29 July, pushed the order to Saturday, deferring it for the third time this week.

Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested following the Supreme Court's dismissal of the plea filed by slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia Jafri, which challenged the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe in the Gujarat riots case.

In doing so, the apex court had upheld the clean chit given by the SIT to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In its judgment, the court read that Setalvad, a co-petitioner in the case, had exploited the emotions of Zakia Jafri.

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While Sreekumar was arrested on 25 June, Setalvad was picked up by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad from her home in Mumbai on 26 June, with human rights organisations and activists condemning the move and calling for her release.

The activist-journalist was detained hours after Home Minister Amit Shah said in an interview on 25 June that her NGO had spread "baseless" information regarding the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who is serving a life sentence in a custodial death case at a jail at Palanpur in Banaskantha district, is also an accused in the case.

What Is the Case Against Them?

The trio are accused of abusing the process of law by conspiring to fabricate the evidence in an attempt to frame innocent people for an offence punishable with capital punishment in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The case is based on a complaint filed by Darshansinh B Barad, police inspector, Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad City. The complaint cites the Supreme Court's judgment rejecting Zakia Jafri's plea challenging the SIT probe in the Gujarat riots case.

The Gujarat government has formed a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Gujarat ATS DIG Deepan Bhadran to investigate the case.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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