Riot panel witness testifies against Teesta Setalvad

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AHMEDABAD - A former associate of social activist Teesta Setalvad Wednesday told a panel probing the 2002 Gujarat riots that she fabricated affidavits filed on behalf of the riot victims and tried to mislead courts.

Rais Khan Pathan deposed before the Justices G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta enquiry commission probing the Godhra train carnage and the subsequent communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.

He said in 2008 he fell out with Setalvad, general secretary of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), and was forced to leave the organisation.

Pathan was questioned for over five hours in an in-camera session mainly on the affidavit filed by him alleging that Teesta fabricated many of the affidavits of the riot victims.

A former field co-ordinator of the CJP in Gujarat, Pathan was the key person involved in facilitating the affidavits of the riot victims and witnesses in various courts.

Pathan recently filed identical affidavits before the special courts hearing the 2002 massacre cases as well as the Nanavati-Mehta commission.

He requested the judicial authorities to summon him as a witness to help “expose” the alleged misdeeds of Setalvad.

Pathan also alleged that Setalvad was trying to manipulate witnesses through money.

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