Why did UN suffer from Teesta Setalvad's arrest? Demand for immediate release from India

New Delhi: India has vehemently rejected criticism by the UN office of Ohchr over the arrest of social activist Teesta Setalvad and two others, saying the authorities acted in line with established judicial procedures. In fact, the UN human rights agency had in a tweet on Tuesday expressed concern over the arrest of Teesta Setalvad and former police officers RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt and demanded their immediate release.

Responding to the tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the OHCHR's comments were "totally inappropriate." He said "We have seen a comment by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) regarding the legal action against Teesta Setalvad and two others.'' Bagchi said that the Ohchr's remarks are totally inappropriate and constitute interference in India's independent judicial system. According to the judicial procedures established by the Authority in India, strict action is taken against the violation of the law. It is misleading and unacceptable to label such legal actions as harassment for activism.

In a tweet, the UN human rights agency said, "We are deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Teesta Setalvad and two former police officers and demand their immediate release." They should not be tortured for their activism and solidarity with the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots. While hearing Zakia Jafri's petition related to the Gujarat riots, the Supreme Court of India had said that there was a need for an inquiry against Teesta, after which she was taken into custody. At the same time, one of Teesta's associates, Raees Khan, had also said that Teesta raised funds worth crores of rupees in the name of Gujarat riot victims and ate it herself. Now the question arises, why is the United Nations defending human rights, Teesta Setalvad, without understanding the whole matter?  

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