Guj govt seeks probe into Teesta Setalvad's NGO for alleged misuse of Ford Foundation funds

The Gujarat government has sought a probe into the role of activist Teesta Setalvad's NGO alleging that it misused funds received from a foreign donor to create 'communal disharmony'.

hidden April 15, 2015 10:20:38 IST
Guj govt seeks probe into Teesta Setalvad's NGO for alleged misuse of Ford Foundation funds

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government has sought a probe into the role of activist Teesta Setalvad's NGO alleging that it misused funds received from a foreign donor to create 'communal disharmony'.

"We have written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking probe into the role of Setalvad's NGO (Sabrang Trust) after we found out funds given to the NGO were misused," Gujarat Minister of State for Home Rajnikant Patel told PTI.

Guj govt seeks probe into Teesta Setalvads NGO for alleged misuse of Ford Foundation funds

Teesta Setalvad in a file photo. AFP

The Gujarat government and Setalvad are already embroiled in legal battles. While she has filed several cases against the state government functionaries including the former Chief Minister Narendra Modi regarding the 2002 riots, the state police has filed a case of embezzlement of funds against her.

"During the investigation of Gulberg Society museum funds embezzlement case, these things came to light," Patel said.

"We learnt that the funds which they received, especially from the (US-based) Ford Foundation, were actually used for disturbing the communal harmony here and carrying out anti-national propaganda against India in foreign countries," he claimed.

"According to the information given by Ford Foundation (to state police), we came to know that she had used the funds to carry out a campaign against the Gujarat government and also against the country," he said.

"We wrote to the government of India last month seeking probe of this NGO's role and necessary action against it... they (the Centre) can take action such as cancelling its grants or de-listing the NGO," said Patel.

The Ford Foundation had given more than USD five lakh to Setalvad's NGO, he added.

ACP KN Patel, investigating officer in the Gulberg Society funds misuse case, said police had submitted a report to the state government on this issue.

Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's son Tanvir, and two residents of the Gulberg society Firoz Gulzar and Salim Sandhi are facing a case of embezzlement of Rs 1.51 crore.

It has been alleged by some residents of Gulbarg society here -- site of a major massacre during the 2002 riots in which Jafri and 68 others were killed -- that Setalvad and others usurped the money collected for setting up a riots museum.

Setalvad's anticipatory bail plea in this case is pending before a larger bench of the Supreme Court. The Gujarat High Court had rejected her pre-arrest bail plea.

PTI

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