CBI calls Teesta Setalvad threat to national security, her lawyers say ‘ridiculous’


Lawyers representing the social activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad has criticised the CBI for calling her a threat to national security to a Mumbai Court yesterday.

The federal investigating agency, while opposing her bail plea in a Mumbai court on Saturday, had described the Gujarat based activist as a threat to national security.

NDTV quoted Teesta’s lawyer as saying, ” It’s extremely ridiculous that she is a threat to national security. The documents that were seized have been earlier given to other investigation agencies as well. Also no foreign currency was found in the house.”

Last week, 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.

She had moved court in Mumbai asking for anticipatory bail. The court gave her relief from arrest until July 21, when it will pronounce order on the bail plea.

Teesta, for her part has denied these allegations. She has been working to ensure justice for the victims of the 2002 riots in Gujarat, where more than 2000 people were killed under Modi- now India’s prime minister- as the state’s chief minister. She alleges that the ruling BJP is attempting to persecute her.