Teesta Setalvad Exposed

published on September 21, 2010

SIT records Teesta ex-aide’s statement
Navin Upadhyay | New Delhi – Daily Pioneer

She doctored affidavits of witnesses: Khan

In a major development on Tuesday, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Gujarat riot cases began recording the statement of Rais Khan, who has accused social activist Teesta Setalvad of influencing witnesses for submitting false testimonies in courts.

A former coordinator in Setalvad’s Mumbai-based NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, Khan had recently approached the SIT and the Supreme Court to reveal how she doctored the affidavits filed by the witnesses. He has also lodged a police complaint against the activist.

Khan presented himself before SIT chief RK Raghvan at 4 pm in Ahmedabad, sources said. Till late in the evening, he was being questioned about various aspects of the case involving identification of the witnesses and affidavits filed on their behalf.

This is the second time that Khan appeared before the SIT, sources said. Last Friday, the special unit had summoned him for preliminary recording of statements regarding his complaints. The SIT summoned him on Tuesday after assessing the seriousness of his allegations, the sources added.

Khan reportedly went to meet Raghavan with a bunch of documents, which included e-mail exchanges between him and Setalvad. He was also likely to reveal how he handpicked witnesses at the directive of Setalvad, who drafted the affidavits and e-mailed these to him from Mumbai.

Khan was expected to explain to SIT why he kept quiet for nearly two years after being dismissed from service by Setalvad, the sources said. In a complaint to the Ahmedabad police commissioner under Sections 65, 66 and 72 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Khan said he worked for six years as coordinator in Teesta’s Mumbai-based NGO and was sacked in January 2008 after he refused to carry out certain orders “which were not in the interest of communal harmony”.

Sources said Khan’s complaint has been transferred to the cyber forensic department, which is expected to proceed on it after verifying the allegations.

Khan told The Pioneer last week that he had written to the SIT and the Supreme Court and filed criminal complaints with the police after certain witnesses accused him of tampering with their affidavits. He said his role was limited to providing to witnesses the affidavits mailed to him by Setalvad and then obtain their signatures. Apart from it, he claimed, he had no role in the entire exercise.

Sources said Khan was being pressured by his community members to withdraw his complaints. However, he remained firm on exposing how the witnesses’ affidavits were doctored in the post-Godhra riot cases.

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