Setalvad to face fresh probe by new panel

Setalvad to face fresh probe by new panel

Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad seems to have run into fresh trouble with the Centre setting up a committee to probe into the allegations of “misutilisation” of funds allocated to an NGO, run by her and husband Javed Anand.

Sources in the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry said that the minister recently gave her nod for setting up a three-member committee to enquire into allegations of misutilisation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan funds allocated to Sabrang Trust.
At this moment, however, it is not clear how much funds have been misutilised.

An Ahmedabad-based aide of Setalvad, Rais Khan Pathan, was reported to have lodged a complaint against her NGO in May, seeking the HRD Ministry to conduct an immediate enquiry. “A committee has been set up to enquire into the allegation of embezzlement of funds. I do not know anything more than this at this moment,” a source in the HRD Ministry told Deccan Herald.

The three-member enquiry committee comprises vice-chancellor of the Central University of Gujarat Syed A Bari and officials of the HRD Ministry.

“This is nothing but part of the same witch-hunt. The HRD Ministry now wants to investigate the same baseless allegations which the Gujarat Police is already doing. We had nothing to hide from the Gujarat Police. We have nothing to hide from the HRD Ministry,” Setalvad told Deccan Herald.

The ministry’s action against Setalvad comes at a time when it was reconstituting the central advisory board of education (CABE). The rights activist, who is secretary of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an organisation that fights for justice for the victims of communal violence in Gujarat in 2002, is one of the members of the CABE.

Setalvad, who is accused in a case of misappropriation of funds raised for a museum at the site of the Gulberg Society massacre during the 2002 Gujarat riots, recently got relief from the Supreme Court as the apex court granted her an anticipatory bail in the case.

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