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Mainstream, VOL LX No 28, New Delhi, July 2, 2022

Statements by CPI & CPI(M) Demand Release of Teesta Setalvad & Others

Friday 1 July 2022


Communist Party of India

New Delhi,

June 27, 2022

Demands Immediate Release of Teesta Setalvad

Press Release

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India issued the following statement today (on June 27, 2022) demanding immediate release of Teesta Setalvad and others:

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India strongly condemns the arrest and subsequent detention of Teesta Setalvad and R B Sreekumar, Ex-DGP who fought for bringing justice to the families of the victims of the 2002 Gujarat massacre. Teesta Setalvad is an acknowledged renowned fighter for the rights of the citizens and her activities as an ardent fighter against communalism and for the democratic rights of people has been appreciated by even UN.

The Supreme Court verdict in this regard has raised several questions. However, the Union home minister and Gujarat Police have gone ahead to arrest them.

Her arrest along with others is a hard blow to the democratic polity of the country and the right of the people to question the role of the government when such inhuman riots, targeting one section of the population, resulting in the killings of hundreds takes place.

The Party reiterates its stand that all those responsible for the massacre must be brought to book.

Office Secretary

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Date: Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

Withdraw Cases and Release Teesta and Others

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns the arrest of Teesta Setalvad who fought relentlessly for justice for the victims of the 2002 Gujarat violence. Her arrest is an ominous threat to all democratic minded citizens not to dare to question the role of the State or the government under whose regime communal violence takes place. This is abhorrent to democratic rights of citizens.

However, the action of the Gujarat administration in her arrest has been enabled by the questionable verdict of the three member Bench of the Supreme Court which has made the complainant into the accused and ordering “all those involved in such abuse of process need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with the law.”

It means any SIT established by the Court is to be considered outside the purview of judicial appeals and if anyone appeals against it, as did Zakia Jaffry and Teesta Setalvad in the present case, then they are charged with “abuse of process.” A fight for justice for 16 years is described in unusual derogatory terms as keeping the “pot boiling for ulterior design”.

It should be noted that the Court appointed amicus curiae in the SIT case, while agreeing with many recommendations of the SIT, had also recorded that certain sections of the IPC causing hatred among communities should be considered. Earlier in April 2004, it was the Supreme Court itself which had described the then Government leaders as “modern day Neros”. The present verdict does not address any of these issues. It punishes those who like Teesta believe in the judicial system. It is a fit case for a curative petition.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands the withdrawal of cases and release of Teesta Setalvad, Sreekumar and others.

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