AHMEDABAD: The SIT filed a chargesheet on Wednesday against social activist Teesta Setalvad, former DGP RB Sreekumar and ex-IPS Sanjiv Bhatt, citing 90 witnesses in support of charges of fabricating evidence to frame 63 persons for a purported “larger conspiracy behind the 2002 riots”. Sreekumar and Bhatt are behind bars, while Setalvad has been granted interim bail by the SC in this case.
After investigating, the SIT has charged the three with criminal conspiracy, forgery, fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital punishment, falsely instituting criminal proceedings against people despite knowledge that there were no just grounds for the same, and framing of incorrect records by a public servant.
According to the chargesheet, Setalvad and the other accused held meetings with the late Congress leader and RS member Ahmed Patel, and Setalvad allegedly received Rs 30 lakh. While she was in contact with Congress leaders, Setalvad met riots survivors and told them she’d get them justice and financial compensation. The accused created evidence of incidents that hadn’t occurred and tried to implicate people who were not connected to the events, the chargesheet claims, adding that they made witnesses give false evidence in court. they tried to shift the riots cases out of Gujarat and defamed the state, it claims. Setalvad did so to gain political benefit, it adds.
Sreekumar has been accused of misusing his position as a government official, of making back-dated entries in a register and filing affidavits with incorrect facts before the Godhra riots inquiry commission by falsely accusing other government officials of being inactive during the riots. He also allegedly threatened a witness who had fallen out with Setalvad.
The chargesheet alleges that Bhatt lied about his presence at the meeting held at then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s residence on the evening of February 27, 2002, after coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express had been torched. It alleges that Bhatt falsely claimed that Modi had said let Hindus express their anger. Bhatt was not supposed to be present at the meeting, as per protocol. To establish his presence, he created false evidence and pressured witnesses, the chargesheet claims.