This Article is From Jul 24, 2015

After Teesta Setalvad Gets Setback In One Court, Relief In Another

File photo of activist Teesta Setalvad (AFP)

Mumbai: Activist Teesta Setalvad, who was fighting a case brought against her by the CBI, said today that she believes, "This is an attempt to intimidate and possibly eliminate us by the powers that be."

After a Mumbai court refused anticipatory bail to Ms Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, they were granted interim bail by the Bombay High Court,  which means they cannot be arrested for at least another fortnight.

The CBI is looking into whether Ms Setalvad's NGO received funding from the United States-based Ford Foundation without government permission.

The 53-year-old says she is being persecuted for the cases that she filed earlier against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of failing to stop the communal riots that ravaged Gujarat in 2002. The Supreme Court has said there is no evidence that as Chief Minister at the time, Mr Modi did not do enough to stop the violence which killed at least 1,000 people.

The CBI registered the case against Ms Setalvad on July 8 and raided their home and offices a week later. At an earlier hearing, the agency controversially described her as "a threat to national security."

Ms Setalvad has also been charged by the Gujarat police of embezzling funds donated to the non-profits she runs for victims of the Gujarat riots.

Ms Setalvad has denied any wrongdoing in the multiple cases she confronts.

The CBI says its investigation is based on a complaint from the Home Ministry and that the sum involved is over 1 crore rupees ($160,000).

Amid a crackdown on foreign charities, the Home Ministry put the $12.5 billion Ford Foundation on a watch list this year. The PM has also criticised what he called "five-star activists".