Hardly surprising that I missed it, given the fact that it was hidden away amongst more ‘news worthy’ items and the fact that the only Indian News Channel that I get here – NDTV – just did not think it important enough. They, however kept flashing what Farooq Abdullah thought of the Kandahar ‘exchange’ !
Apparently, the well known activist cooked up ‘macabre tales of wanton killings’..
‘Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, the SIT said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.’
Now, what really amazes me is that, for the amount of coverage of the Gujarat riots – it is surprising that this is totally swept under the carpet? Hasn’t Teesta done more to harm communal harmony – than say Varun Gandhi? Isn’t her crime worse – for it, sure looks more pre-mediated? And in an already communally charged atmosphere, when we read about these macabre killings – what do you think would have gone through the community who was at the brunt of the carnage? Would they not feel even more insecure and helpless ? While I am sure, a lot of things happened – is it fair to concoct up some more – just for the shock value? How on earth, does such accounts help communal harmony? What was she trying to achieve? Was it all for political mileage or media coverage?
As Bhanu Pratap Mehta says, ‘If true, she has not only done deep disservice to the victims of the Gujarat riots; she has also undermined the credibility of so-called secular interlocutors. It confirms the suspicion many have, that often those speaking in the name of secularism do not subscribe to the very values they claim to be fighting for: truth, justice, impartiality and the rule of law. Their secularism is in the service of beating down opponents rather than discovering the truth. “Tutoring witnesses”, concocting horror stories in a politically charged situation is a serious crime; of a piece with what the supposedly “bad” guys do. After all, their politics depends upon falsely whipped-up paranoia, tampering with the system of justice, engaging in a pornography of violence and having scant regard for the truth. The fact that this is done in the name of victims, for a supposedly just cause, does not excuse it. It makes it worse.’
And the worst of it all – why is the media turning a blind eye??????
Edited to add – I just came across another article here.
Edited Again to add – Dilip D’Souza, sent me this link – in his comment – http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=954c5708-79ee-47d0-8272-795b79946cd5&Headline=Gujarat+riots+witnesses+not+tutored%3a+SIT
Apparently, the SIT team has ‘slammed reports that riots witnesses were tutored to give false evidence for exaggeration of the situation, by activists and organisations helping the victims’. Apparently there have been leaks – ‘ The alleged reported leaks appear to be inspired by dubious motives. I cannot confirm such claims. The act is highly condemnable,” Raghavan said. ‘
So it looks as if Teesta Setalvad may not have ‘cooked’ up stories – which is a relief – it was scary to think that this kind of a thing was done. However, I still do not understand why the mainstream media is not even commenting on it….