Himanshu Trivedi, former judge of Gujarat (Photo from his facebook)
Ahmedabad, 04 Aug 2015: Amidst alleged threats to judge Ms Jyotsna Yagnik who had convicted Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi and others for their involvement in the Gujarat 2002 riots, a former judge has now come forward and claimed that he and other judges were tried to be pressurized by the state government (then ruled by Narendra Modi as chief minister) to act against the minority community following the riots.
Himanshu Trivedi, now settled and practicing in New Zealand, was a district cadre judge in Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court in 2002 when the riots took place in different parts of the state following the Godhra train carnage.
In a Facebook post three days ago, Trivedi, a former colleague of Justice Yagnik, wrote that the Gujarat government wanted the judges and judiciary to act against the minority community and he resigned because he was sworn to the Constitution of India.
While appreciating the work of rights activist Teesta Setalvad, who has been fighting for justice for the victims of Gujarat riots since 2002, Trivedi wrote on his Facebook page on 1st Aug 2015:
"Teesta Setalvad. Hats off. I have always admired you and your courage and outspokenness on these issues. I also take this opportunity to state that I am indeed pained (and I am the one who had QUIT Gujarat's Judiciary (I was a district cadre judge in Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court - once a colleague of the bravest judge Ms Jyotsna Yagnik) ... because they (the State of Gujarat) wanted us (the judges and the judiciary) of Gujarat to be acting against minority community (albeit with no written orders but DEFINITELY communicated loud and clear messages to us). I could not be part of it as I was sworn to Constitution of India and not to the butchers..."
screenshot of facebook post of Himanshu Trivedi
Trivedi posted his comment while sharing a video talk of Teesta Setalvad which was uploaded on 2nd Aug 2013. The topic of her talk was Civil Society and Current Challenges to a United India.
Trivedi's facebook profile describes him as Solicitor and Barrister at Philip Lee Law Limited. He worked at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in an earlier stint. Trivedi, who studied law of contract at AUT University, now lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
Meanwhile, back home, Teesta Setalvad is facing a criminal case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The federal agency last month raided her home and office in Mumbai a week after booking her and her husband Javed Anand for allegedly illegally receiving funds from abroad through their company Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt. Ltd. However, Teesta has denied charges and levelled them as vendetta by the BJP government.
CBI has started probe on the request of the Gujarat government.
Since the Gujarat riot 2002, Teesta has been fighting for justice for the riot victims. In the post-Godhra train carnage riot, around 2000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the state then ruled by Narendra Modi as chief minister. In the train carnage, around 60 Hindu karsevaks were killed while returning from Ayodhya.