Controversial ‘activist’ Teesta Setalvad’s troubles don’t seem to be ending anytime soon after it was reported that the Supreme Court has dismissed her petition to unfreeze six bank accounts.
These six bank accounts belonging to Teesta, her husband Javed Anand and their NGOs namely Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace were frozen in 2015 by the Ahmedabad police over charges of Teesta and co. embezzling funds received by them for the victims of the 2002 post Godhra riots.
Teesta had appealed against this freeze in the Gujarat High Court but it too had rejected her pleas in October 2015, following which she knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court.
We had reported that she is alleged to have cheated victims of 2002 Godhra riots, and “embezzled funds” collected in their name. One of the riot victims from Gulbarg housing society had filed a complaint against Teesta and her husband Javed Anand. The alleged misappropriation of funds is said to be to the tune of Rs 1.51 crores.
The Gujarat government has alleged that this siphoned money was used for personal entertainment like spending it on liquor, movies, food, personal items and Blackberry phone.
Further, it was also found that her trusts had violated FCRA norms. Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited, with which Teesta is associated, recieved $ 2.9 lakh from Ford Foundation as grant to “address communalism, caste-based discrimination in India, including media strategies”. But unlike the Sabrang Trust, this company was not registered under FCRA and hence was a violation.
This isn’t the only controversy Teesta has managed to embroil herself into.
It was reported in 2011 that a key prosecution witness in the Best Bakery case had alleged that she was lured and misguided by Teesta into giving a false testimony. The witness named Shaikh Yasmeen Banu had also claimed that Rais Khan who is supposedly a close aide of Teesta, met her along with Muslim leaders to allege threat to her life and asked her to shift to Mumbai where she would be taken care of.
Then in 2014 multiple FIRs were filed against Teesta in Gujarat for tweeting objectionable pictures of Hindu gods. She was booked under sections 153 (a), 295 (a) of the IPC for promoting enmity on grounds of religion and deliberate, malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings respectively. She was also booked under section 65, 66 (a), 66 (b) and 67.