New Delhi: The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) on Wednesday expressed solidarity with social activist Teesta Setalvad and said the CBI raid on her house and office was a “shocking instance of misuse of government machinery”.
In a statement, the Sahmat said the “obvious” reason for this was that Setalvad has been at the forefront of the struggle to bring to justice those guilty of the “Gujarat genocide of 2002”.
“It cannot escape notice that persecution of Setalvad is accompanied by a deliberate weakening of the prosecution cases or overnight withdrawals of cases against those who have been accused of heinous crimes,” it said.
The timing of the raid was all the more “suspect as the Zakia Jafri case begins its final hearings on July 27, and the Naroda Patiya appeals are being heard in the Gujarat High Court starting today”.
Sahmat said it was time for all supporters of civil liberty and the rule of law to stand up for Setalvad and her colleagues, and “condemn without reservation the conduct of the Narendra Modi government”.
The CBI on Tuesday searched four premises of Setalvad and her publishing firm in Mumbai in connection with a case of alleged violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) norms and receiving foreign funds without government sanction.
It searched the premises belonging to Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, Gulam Mohammed Peshimam and the offices of her firm Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt. Ltd. (SCPPL) in Mumbai.
On July 8, the CBI registered a case against them in New Delhi, invoking various sections of the Indian Penal Code and FCRA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday during his Independence day speech touched several important issues like the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A from Jammu and Kashmir, creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post, Rs 100 lakh crore on developing infrastructure, population explosion, eliminate use of plastic bags, promote digital payments, water conservation, one nation, one election and many others.
Here are the important issues that Modi said during his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort:
Abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir: Modi said with the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, the dream of “One Nation, One Constitution” has been realised. He also lashed out at the opposition for speaking against the move, asking if they felt it was so necessary why didn’t they make it permanent in the past 70 years.
Creation of the CDS post: Modi said I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff — CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective. The new CDS post will oversee all the three wings of the armed forces.
Abolition of triple talaq: Modi said it was aimed at benefitting the Muslim women. He said the country has taken several steps for women, including ending the evil of female foeticide. If we can take so many steps then why not raise our voice against the evil of triple talaq, so that our Muslim sisters get equal respect and are part of the country’s progress. The decision is not to be weighed in political terms.
Population explosion: Modi said population explosion will cause many problems for our future generations. But there is a vigilant section of public which stops to think, before bringing a child to the world, whether they can do justice to the child, give them all that she or he wants. They have a small family and express their patriotism to the country. Let’s learn from them. There is need of social awareness.
Jal Jeevan Mission: Modi announced a new Jal Jeevan Mission for realising the vision of Har Ghar Jal, or drinking water to every home, with an allocation of Rs 3,59,000 crore. Modi also asked the citizens to adopt the water conservation, they way they adopted the Swachh Bharat campaign.
Eliminate use of plastic: Modi said single-use plastic poses grave threat to the environment. The time for implementing such an idea has come. Teams must be mobilised to work in this direction. A significant step must come out by October 2.
Promote digital payment: Modi said shopkeepers already have a board outside their shops that reads: ‘Aaj nagad, kal udhar’. Similarly they can have a board saying ‘yes’ to digital payment and no to cash payment.
Simultaneous poll: Modi said the dream of one nation, one tax has been achieved by the implementation of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Our nation has also successfully achieved One Nation, One Grid in the Power sector. Now today, India is talking about One Nation, One Election. So a discussion must be held on this.
Minimise use of fertilizers: Modi urged the farmers to minimise the use of chemical-based fertilizers in their farmlands.
Wealth creation: Modi said wealth creation is a great national service. Let us never be wealth creators with suspicion. Only when wealth is created, it will be distributed. Those who create wealth are India’s wealth and we respect them.
Quality Export products: Modi said the time has come to think about how we can boost exports. Each district of India has so much to offer. Let us make local products attractive. May more export hubs emerge. Our guiding principle is ‘Zero Defect, Zero Effect’. (IANS)