Activists in India have called for the release of Teesta Setalvad, an activist and journalist critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was detained over the weekend on suspicion of forging documents about anti-Muslim riots in 2002.
Earlier, Teesta Setalvad was accused of tutoring witnesses, forging the documents and fabricating evidence in cases pertaining to the anti-Muslim riots. She was detained from her residence in Mumbai by the police on Saturday and taken to Gujarat for custody until July 2.
Protesters carrying placards and posters of Setalvad shouted slogans against PM Narendra Modi and his party BJP today.
Nooruddin Naik, a protester, said: “Just because activists like her are fighting in the court of law, doesn’t mean they should be put behind bars.”
Meanwhile, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor said: “Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by the Indian state.”
Modi was accused of failing to stop the rioting when at least 1,000 people died under his watch. He had denied the accusations and was exonerated in an Indian Supreme Court inquiry in 2012.