A statement issued by a United Nations official condemning the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad and two others was described by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) as ‘unnecessary’ on Wednesday.
Read More | A day after the Supreme Court decision, Gujarat police arrested Teesta Setalvad
“We have seen a comment from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the legal action against Teesta Setalvad and 2 others.
“Indian authorities act in accordance with strictly established judicial procedures against violations of the law. The labeling of such legal proceedings as harassment for activism is misleading and unacceptable, the statement said.
The release of the ministry did not mention who the other two men were. However, one of them is likely to be former IPS officer RB Sreekumar, who was arrested by the Gujarat ATS on June 25 as Settlewad. The activist was arrested from her residence in Mumbai while the former Gujarat DGP was arrested from her home. In Gandhinagar.
Read More | Activist Teesta Setalvad, former DGP Sreekumar has been remanded to police custody till July 2
The case has been filed against them on other charges including forgery and criminal conspiracy.
On June 26, Mary Lawler, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, tweeted: “There are serious concerns that the #WHRD Teesta Setalvad has been arrested by the Gujarat Police Terrorism Squad. Teesta is a strong voice against hate and discrimination. Human rights protection is not a crime. I call for her to be released and to end the harassment from the #Indian State.
The arrests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scathing critics Settlewad and Sreekumar have sparked protests in several cities. One day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit for then-CM Narendra Modi and many others in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi government critics accused him of ‘witch-hunting’.
Read More | Teesta Setalvad: Rights activists, students take to the streets to protest the arrest
The second unnamed person may be Sanjeev Bhatt, another former IPS officer in Gujarat during the 2002 riots and, in later years, a staunch critic of Prime Minister Modi. On June 20, 2019, Bhatt Was sentenced to life imprisonment In the case of custody death.