Teesta Setalvad booked for fraudulently getting Rs 1.4 crore from HRD ministry during UPA rule

Teesta Setalvad, who has been under scanner multiple times for allegedly cheated victims of 2002 Godhra riots, and “embezzled funds” collected in their name and violating FCRA norms, has now been booked for allegedly securing central government funds worth Rs. 1.4 crore between the years 2010 and 2013 for her NGO Sabrang, fraudulently.

Raees Khan, a former associate of social worker Teesta Setalvad had lodged a complaint with Ahmedabad crime branch alleging the funds which were meant to be used for educational purposes were misused. The HRD ministry then headed by Kapil Sibal, had allegedly sanctioned the funds to her ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan’ illegally.

In his complaint, Pathan has accused Setalvad and Sabrang Trust of trying to ‘mix religion with politics’ and spreading communal disharmony through curricular material prepared for the UPA led central government.

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Earlier, Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited, with which Teesta is associated, received $ 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.

Earlier in 2011, it was reported 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.

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