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Gujarat Court Denies Bail to Teesta Setalvad, Sreekumar Accused in 2002 Riots Cases

PTI |
The SIT formed to probe the case has alleged that Setalvad and Sreekumar were part of a larger conspiracy carried out at the behest of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel to destabilise the then BJP government in Gujarat.
Teesta Setalvad

Image credit: The Wire

Ahmedabad: A sessions court in Ahmedabad on Saturday denied bail to activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP R B Sreekumar, arrested for allegedly fabricating documents to frame innocent people in 2002 riots cases.

Additional principal judge D D Thakkar said that both the orders are rejected.

Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested by the city crime branch around a month back on the basis of a First Information Report (FIR) against them under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence).

The two accused have denied the charges. The government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case.

Apart from Setalvad and Sreekumar, former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is also an accused in the case and has been arrested.

In its affidavit, the SIT formed to probe the case has alleged that they were part of a larger conspiracy carried out at the behest of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel to destabilise the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Narendra Modi.

It has alleged that Setalvad was paid Rs 30 lakh at Patel's behest soon after the Godhra train burning incident of 2002.

Sreekumar was a "disgruntled government officer" who "abused the process for damning the elected representatives, bureaucracy and police administration of the whole state of Gujarat for ulterior purposes", the SIT claimed.

The FIR against Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt was registered after the Supreme Court last month dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Her plea had alleged a "larger conspiracy" behind the post-Godhra riots.

On February 8, 2012, the SIT filed a closure report giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was "no prosecutable evidence" against them.

The top court on June 24 this year upheld the SIT's clean chit to Modi and 63 others.

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