Ahmedabad: Raees Khan, who has been accused of distorting facts in the affidavits of six Naroda Gam witnesses, alleged Friday that activist Teesta Setalvad has been threatening him and said he has filed a police complaint against her.
"I have filed an FIR (First Information Report) against Teesta today at Rakhial police station. She is behind the threatening calls that I am receiving for the past couple of days," said Raees Khan, a former confidant and once the coordinator here for Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).
Khan said late on Friday evening that he had to take this step as calls were made to him from Ahmedabad railway station warning him and his family of dire consequence if "I turn out to be a nuisance to Teesta".
"Do not say anything about Teesta. Do not address the media. Keep strictly away from media persons. Even if one word is spoken against Teesta, you and your family will have to pay a heavy price," Khan quoted the caller as saying.
"Today my application was accepted by the Rakhial police inspector and also an FIR was filed. I also met the assistant commissioner police and told him the reason behind my seeking police protection," Khan said.
Khan was once a close confidant of Setalvad who heads the Mumbai based Citizens for Justice and Peace, a non-governmental organisation. She is also editor of Communalism Combat, a magazine that aims to fight communalism.
In his complaint, Raees Khan has directly accused Teesta. "If I am attacked or if anything happens to my family, I will hold Teesta personally responsible," Khan said in the FIR, adding that though he had no enmity with Teesta, she was hounding and threatening him.
"'I will send you to a place from where you will not return', Teesta had warned me recently when I asked for my two months' salary dues," Khan said.
Raees Khan is in the eye of the storm after he was accused of distorting facts in affidavits of the six Naroda Gam witnesses viz., Madina Pathan, Maqsoon Pathan, Rafiq Sheikh, Mohammed Malik, Rafiq Malik and Rahim Malik when he filed their affidavits in 2003.
These witnesses have deposed before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) that they did not know about the content of affidavits filed before the Supreme Court.
Raees Khan, however, said that he had nothing to do with the affidavits as it was written in Mumbai and a printout was taken from his computer here. "The six victims had approached me saying that police were not recording their statements soon after the riots. I then contacted Teesta and she sent the drafts. Nanumian Mallik's son. who is an advocate had taken the drafts to the six witnesses and he took their signatures. I had no role to play in it, whatsoever," said Khan.
"I was approached for the first time by Teesta after the demolition of Babri Masjid when she called me to work for her here to handle her local office. I did my duties diligently at the office located at Shahpur and all went well until 2007 when she unceremoniously sacked me. She was at her abusive best when she showed me the door," Khan said.
"I have not been paid my two months' salary. The computer and the fax machine and other stationery items belonged to me as I had purchased with my own money and have receipts to prove it. Yet she has taken all of it, claiming that it belonged to her. When I demanded that my property be returned, she said she would fix me in such a way that I will be rotting behind bars for the rest of the life," Khan told IANS.
He also alleges that yet, when he went ahead undeterred and demanded his dues he was approached by people close to Teesta who advised him not to tangle with Teesta.
"'She is too powerful and she can harm you irreparably. It is better you keep away from her', they had advised me," Khan said.