While challenging Teesta Setalvad’s plea for anticipatory bail today, the Gujarat Police claimed that she and her husband Javed Anand have been siphoning off NGO funds to pay for wine, whiskey and meals at fancy restaurants. They claimed that she has even had the cost of hairstyling reimbursed on her trips to Pakistan and Rome.
Earlier this month, the CBI had arrested Setalvad after filing a criminal case of misappropriation of foreign funds. The activist’s NGO has been a beneficiary of foreign funds from the Ford Foundation in 2009.
Setalvad denies any wrongdoing and is of the opinion that she is being unduly targeted because of her very public protests of PM Modi’s involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Earlier, a joint statement signed by the politicians representing various opposition parties had accused the Narendra Modi government of harassing the activist and her husband. Among those who signed the statement were the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, JD(U) secretary-general K C Tyagi, CPI(M) leader Hannan Mollah and NCP general secretary D P Tripathi.
CBI had registered a case against Teesta for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act on July 8 claiming that her Sabrang Communication and Publishing Private Limited received around $2.9 lakh in donations from overseas. Gujarat police has accused her of embezzling funds meant for a riots museum.