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Teesta Setalvad plotted the death penalty against Narendra Modi in 2002 riots: SIT

Teesta Setalvad colluded to discredit the government of Gujarat and got then Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be sentenced to death in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots, a charge filed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The 100-page indictment of Setalvad, former Director-General of Police RB Sreekumar (Retd.) and former Indian Police Service (IPS) Sanjiv Bhatt, was filed in the Ahmedabad Metro Court in a case of alleged fabrication of evidence in related to the riots.

The SIT, which was established by order of the Supreme Court, alleged that the accused conspired to receive the death penalty for then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the indictment said. Despite being part of the government, RB Sreekumar and Sanjeev Bhatt made false documents for Teesta and added them to official submissions, it said.

The accused wanted to end Narendra Modi’s political career and damage his reputation. For this, an army of lawyers was hired to prepare false documents and affidavits, the indictment alleged.

Also read | Teesta Setalvad gets provisional bail in 2002 Gujarat riot case

Riot victims were manipulated and their signatures were forcibly taken on the fabricated statements. But because it was all in English, the victims couldn’t understand what they were signing up for, the SIT said, adding that the riot witnesses were threatened by Setalvad if they refused to support her.

The IPS agents, who are her co-suspect in the case, would carry out her orders. On one occasion, RB Sreekumar even threatened a witness, the SIT claimed. “If you don’t support Teesta, Muslims will turn against you and you will be a target of the terrorists. If we start fighting amongst ourselves, the enemies will benefit and so will Modi,” Sreekumar reportedly told a witness, the team said in their indictment.

The accused is said to have taken the victims of the riots outside Gujarat and collected millions in donations, pledging to ‘ease their pain’.

According to the SIT, Setalvad, along with several congressional leaders, went to camps set up for the rioters and misled them into believing that they would not get justice in Gujarat. They even manipulated the victims into taking their cases to courts out of state and had them file documents to that effect, the team said.

Teesta was in constant contact with Sanjiv Bhatt, who in turn was in contact via email with journalists, NGOs and opposition leaders, asking them to put pressure on the Amicus Curie, the court and other authorities, the SIT supposedly.

The former IPS officer even kidnapped a witness who refused to sign an affidavit prepared by Setalvad and forcibly coerced the witness to sign the false affidavit, it further claimed.

In the riots that followed the Godhra incident, 1,044 people were killed – the majority of whom were Muslims, PTI news agency reported.

Also read | Teesta met political leader, got money for conspiracy: Gujarat SIT tells SC

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