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Teesta Setalvad Granted Anticipatory Bail

Godhra (Guj), Feb 15: Social activist Teesta Setalvad was today granted anticipatory bail by a fast track court in connection with illegal exhumation of bodies of 2002 riot victims four years ago.Judge V D Parmar
PTI February 15, 2011 17:42 IST
PTI
Godhra (Guj), Feb 15: Social activist Teesta Setalvad was today granted anticipatory bail by a fast track court in connection with illegal exhumation of bodies of 2002 riot victims four years ago.

Judge V D Parmar granted anticipatory bail to Setalvad on grounds of parity as other accused in the case have been granted bail.

Setalvad runs a NGO called Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and has taken up the cause of riot victims.

According to the details of the case, in 2002 the district administration had buried about 28 unidentified bodies of riot victims from Pandarwada and surrounding villages of Khanpur taluka of Panchmahal district at a graveyard near river Panam there.

After over four years, Rais Khan, who was then associated with CJP, and 12 others exhumed these bodies without the permission of the authorities.

Following this, a criminal complaint was registered against Khan and others. But they obtained a stay on further investigation in the case.

The stay was lifted by the High Court in November last year, after which Khan and his three aides were arrested on December 14.

Khan, who is no more associated with Setalvad, gave a statement under Section 164 of CrPC to the police saying that they had exhumed bodies at the behest of Setalvad.

After that Setalvad filed an anticipatory bail plea in the Godhra court.

Setalvad's counsel A A Hasan had pointed out to the court that her name was not mentioned in the FIR filed by the police.

He also argued that she had only filed cases in the court to help the riot victims and was not involved in the illegal activity of digging of graves.

Hasan had also submitted that since all the main accused in the case were given bail, the court should consider her plea for anticipatory bail.

Advocate representing Setalvad, A A Hasan, had pointed out to the court that Setalvad's name was not mentioned in the FIR filed by the police.

He also argued that she had just filed cases in the court to help the riot victims and was not involved in the illegal activity of digging of graves.

Hasan had also submitted that since all the main accused in the case were given bail, the court should consider her plea for anticipatory bail.

Pandarwada body exhumation case had angered many people, after which the Gujarat high court had ordered DNA test of the remains and handing them over to the relatives of riot victims.

The remains were later buried with respect by relatives of the victims.

Khan, after falling out with Setalvad, has filed affidavits in some of the riot cases being investigated by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), alleging that Setalvad had made riot victims sign false affidavits after the post-Godhra riots.

He has also made similar statements before the Nanavati Commission and the SIT probing the post-Godhra riot cases. PTI