Majhi Satakli – The other side of a celebrated Police Officer

“We are posting this story as Naimat Khan has penned a fuller picture of Ch Aslam who was killed in an attack by TTP. It is a tragic story where violent, extra-judicial means put state officials into a vortex of further violence and retributive justice carried out by private militias. PTH

Chaudry Aslam
By: Naimat Khan
Inspired from Singham’s Majhi Satakli, SP Muhammad Aslam Khan – popularly known as Chaudhry Aslam – hit his forehead when I hurled a direct question to provoke him. “Bring the TTP man we had arrested two days ago”, he asked his men when I said ‘the whole Taliban story is a drama to fool people’.
Within minutes one of the TTP militant, hailing from Khyber Agency – one of the seven federally administered tribally areas – who was arrested for his involvement in attack on a TV van, was in front of me in Chaudhry’s office in Garden, headquarters of the police in Karachi.
“Should talk to him in Pashto”, Chaudhry gave a go ahead call by just moving his head and got busy working on some papers when asked. I talked to the guy for some ten minutes, which I included in my story on Taliban’s presence in Karachi. The valor of Chaudhry helped me put a halt to my frustration of finding some Taliban commanders in Karachi. For two consecutive days they [Taliban militants] would call me to Sultanabad area of Mangopir or Janjal Goth in Sohrab Goth neighborhood and ask to wait till they would pick me as the guys didn’t have trust in me. I got a call on the third day but I didn’t go, rather turned my bike towards Garden office of Crime Investigation Department (CID), now called Counter terrorism Department (CTD).
Chaudhry had turned against Taliban militants but his real fight with them began when the guys attacked his house in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) of Karachi in September 2011.
“They are the TTP guys, they through their cowards acts want to frighten me so that I may be barred [from acting against them but] they have put their hands in the loin’s mouth, I will destroy their generations”, he uttered these words in his first media appearance after the blast.
He continued his action against TTP till his assassination on 9 January 2014 when a bomb targeted his convoy on the Lyari expressway in Karachi, killing him and his trusted lieutenants accompanying him.
That’s the story which is often discussed after his death and even during his life. But very few knew him closely. On July 12, 2006, Chaudhry Aslam claimed that he had killed notorious gangster Mashooq Brohi in a shootout in the limits of Gadap police station. Later, the notorious man turned out to be a poor laborer Rasool Bux.
On August 01, 2008 Chaudhry and other members of his Lyari Task Force (LTF) walked free in Rasool Bux killing case. Later in private gathering with journalists he would, off-the-record, accept his ‘mistake’. Brohi was not just the one ‘mistakenly’ killed by the notorious encounter specialists. He had his own justice system.
A lower middle class man from Mansehra district in Khyeber Pakhtunkhwa, the Chaudhry Aslam left behind millions for his family, the amount of which many DIGs would not even imagine to possess. Most of the money he got was from the controversial rewards often as result of staged encounters.
Once a senior crime reporter, in his own words, lost his job and when reached Chaudhry office, he offered him RS 150,000 for “Kharcha” and when he refused, Chaudhry said most of the reporters would take monthly from him.
One unit of Karachi CID during Chaudhry Sb era would work exclusive on picking the guys for selling illegal weapons and then pick up the whole ring involving different people and then set free after they would pay hefty amount, some timing making the CID officials one million a case. I personally witnessed one such case.
His role is now being taken by another encounter specialist, Rao Anwar, whose story can be heard from hundreds of victims in Karachi. I wonder that how can a person killing innocent people be called a Hero? Just because he had also killed some of the Taliban militants?

The writer is a freelance journalist
Twitter: @NKMalazai

  • saadhafiz

    Slide into extremism Saad Hafiz August 23, 2015

    Other countries that are divided by religious extremism can learn from Pakistan that entrenching religious dogmatism and intransigence has devastating consequences for a country’s future. Once bigotry becomes institutionalised, reversing it is no easy endeavour, particularly in the face of violent opposition. Society is easily manipulated by those who want to impose their own views in the name of religion.

    It has been suggested that extremism in Pakistan is a natural consequence of the mobilisation of broad support for a separate state from a religious platform, using the rhetoric of secularism and democracy but relying on the symbols of Islam to invoke support for an avowedly Muslim state, founded by Muslims for Muslims. But more likely, extremism has more to do with the poor choices made since the country’s creation: lack of consensus around national identity, deviation from the early moderate path to nation building and overemphasis on the public role for religion in state and social affairs at the expense of pluralism and democracy. Certainly, the role of religion in political and civil life has had a defining role in the political development of the nation. Had there been less emphasis on religion from the ruling, elite-dominated state in Pakistan, the public and religious groups would not have become vociferous in demanding the establishment of a theocratic state. And religious groups and parties would not have gained so much street power and public exposure.

    The roots of state support for Islamist policies can be traced back to the 1949 Objectives Resolution, which created the union between religion and state. It was followed by the 1956 Constitution that stated that the president of the country must be a Muslim and that no law in the country could be passed that goes against the teachings of the Holy Quran and sunnah. The 1962 Constitution established the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a body that states that child marriages are not un-Islamic, speaks out against the Domestic Violence Bill and does not support seeking consent from the first wife when it comes to a second marriage. Furthermore, the creation in 1980 of the Federal Sharia Court institutionalised Islamic tenets and laid the foundations for theocratic rule in the country. With state support, this body used its religious authority to examine existing Pakistani laws for their obedience to Islamic teachings. Consequently, the culture of Islamisation and adherence to an exclusive identity of Islam pervades Pakistani political and social institutions.

    Moreover, between 1980 and 1986, there were amendments to the blasphemy laws that originated in British-controlled India in 1860 to deter the religious persecution of heterogeneous groups. These laws are inherently biased and discriminatory, have induced sectarian violence and have silenced honest political discourse in the country. These laws continue to permit shocking abuses against minorities as well as worsen radicalisation. Militant groups exploit these draconian laws to legitimise their moral authority and galvanise flourishing conservative Islamic groups already sympathetic to the jihadi cause. More importantly, the laws run contrary to the spirit of justice and respect towards other faiths under the precepts of Islam.

    Unfortunately, the state is scared to repeal these highly politicised laws anticipating a volatile backlash by conservatives. This could bolster the legitimacy of militant religious groups. In summary, egregious laws, state abdication and connivance have kindled the fire of extremism and undermine judicial authority by legitimising vigilantism. This has institutionalised socio-religious intolerance and violent extremism, and encouraged the spread of certain religious ideas in society such as blasphemy, apostasy, jihad and martyrdom, transforming the otherwise moderate fabric of Pakistani society. Moreover, the absolutist and exclusionary tendencies within (Sunni) Islam have had a divisive and authoritarian effect on Pakistan’s polity. The fallout within the country has been devastating, as witnessed in the lynching of blasphemy suspects, sectarian killings, the sacking of localities with minority populations, murder of human rights’ activists and the bombing of religious processions and places of worship.

    At this juncture, religious intolerance across Pakistan has reached unprecedented levels. Weak governance, widespread grievances, repression and the lack of a flourishing civil society have exacerbated the challenge. Hard choices have to be made to combat and reverse the mindset and ideology of those who are defying the state, and attempt to impose their narrow worldview under the garb of Islam. A Turkish proverb says that one bad lesson is better than 1,000 good advices. One can only hope that, having made bad choices in the past, the Pakistani establishment will know better and manage the danger of extremism through deliberation and persuasion rather than relying entirely on a military solution. The state should resist the temptation to define ‘God-fearing, good Muslims’. It must accept that the mixing of state and religion has been counter-productive. Rather than imposing Islamic law, what is needed is a spiritual and cultural path that fosters ethics in society rather than a theocratic state. Pakistan can learn from the success of multi-religious societies that advocate a secular democracy incorporating a strong policy of religious pluralism.

  • saadhafiz

    Dawn News

    Meet Asha Jadeja: Silicon Valley venture capitalist, bridging Pakistan and India — Published Aug 26, 2015

    It’s a breezy Sunday morning when I am warmly greeted into Asha Jadeja’s home located in Palo Alto, California. The prospect of meeting a leading venture capitalist from Silicon Valley who has invested in more than 100 tech start-ups in 15 years is both implausible and intimidating.

    Originally from Ahmedabad, India, Jadeja is one of the first few women venture capitalists, angel investors and philanthropists in Silicon Valley. She invests in for-profit tech, internet and high social impact start-ups in the Bay Area, Boston, New York, Africa and India.

    Clad in a casual black dress, she welcomes me with a smile. Her warm, humble personality sets the tone for the conversation. She speaks with great particularity and certainty.

    “I want to create a civilian bridge between India and Pakistan by introducing Maker Fest in Pakistan earlier next year…this would be my first investment in Pakistan” Asha Jadeja says, as our talk begins.

    Maker Fest Pakistan will be a social event where tech-innovators, creators, artists and hobbyists from across the country will showcase their devices, inventions and products created without proper support.

    Maker Fest is a continuation of Maker Faire, which is hosted across America, Europe, Africa and Japan, among other locations. Maker Faire was launched in California in 2006 and now hosts hundreds of thousands of attendees twice a year.

    “I have been attending Maker Faire in California for the past many years and I have seen the impact it can have. One of my friends from Nigeria got me into funding the Cairo Maker Faire, and from there it expanded to other countries. After witnessing its success, I decided to introduce it in India to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.”

    Introduced three years ago, Maker Fest India immediately spread across the country.

    Jadeja hopes that Maker Fest would become a growing movement in Pakistan as well. Jadeja has yet to visit the country, but she hopes to attend the launch of Maker Fest in Lahore early next year.

    Jadeja is devoted to peace between India and Pakistan and says that she along with her husband Rajeev Motwani (deceased) had always wished to support and encourage entrepreneurs in the subcontinent.

    Talking about her husband’s link with Pakistan, Jadeja said, “Rajeev’s parents had migrated from Sindh, Pakistan.”

    “He has centuries-old roots on the Pakistani side of the border and therefore, it was our joint commitment to bring peace and economic prosperity to the subcontinent.”

    Rajeev Motwani is known world-wide as a mentor to Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. “I met my husband in Berkley and we got married in 1999. We have two daughters,” Jadeja says.

    Her eyes glow with pride as she reminisces about Professor Motwani’s accomplishments: “Our legacy hasn’t changed the world but I feel gratified that any time anybody does a search on Google, they are using Rajeev’s algorithm.”

    Professor Motwani closely collaborated with Brin and Page while writing an influential early paper on Page Rank algorithm, which formed the basis for Google’s search techniques. After Google was founded, he became a member of Google’s technical advisory council. Professor Motwani’s research spanned various fields such as databases, data mining, data privacy, web search and robotics.

    He also authored several books including two widely used theoretical computer science textbooks: ‘Randomized Algorithms’ and ‘Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation’. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Gödel Prize for his work on the PCP theorem and its applications.

    “Today, whenever you use a piece of technology, there is a good chance a little bit of Rajeev Motwani is behind it,” was the tribute paid by Sergey Brin after Rajeev Motwani’s death in 2009.

    Motwani’s efforts for Pakistan and India continue however.

    “Rajeev Circle (RC) Fellowship program’s objective is to help budding entrepreneurs from India and Pakistan to network and connect with our resources in the Sillicon Valley,” added Jadeja.

    The group of mentors for Rajeev Circle Fellowship has around 300 members from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Google, and various portfolio companies Rajeev Motwani and Asha Jadeja have funded over the last 15 years.

    “All entrepreneurs theoretically know what to do, they know about angels and are aware of raising capital but because of a lack of mentors in our countries, the right kind of mindset about risk taking and learning from failures remains missing,” explains Jadeja.

    She adds that the mindset in Pakistan and India is driven by scarcity and competition. The secret of success in the Sillicon Valley, is a mind which acknowledges abundance and collaboration.

    “Our focus is to shift the mindset from one of scarcity and competition to that of abundance and collaboration. It is about absorbing the dynamics of the Bay Area.”

    Explaining the program, Jadeja says, “I don’t have a standard criterion for picking up fellows. I have my own metrics that are based on my gut feeling. Doing well alone is not as important for me, their work should spill over into other circles and create a social impact.”

    ‘Fearless’ from Pakistan
    Jadeja explains further on how she is supporting entrepreneurs from Pakistan. “The young entrepreneurs and activists from Pakistan are fearless, courageous and care deeply about the world around them. I feel that the Pakistani youth is putting their efforts into causes that make a positive social impact, which is humbling, at the very least.”

    “While in India, we are able to reap all the benefits of economic development, the Pakistani youth is involved in a struggle for survival despite all the threats and dangers. As a mother, I feel worried that they are putting themselves in danger and still bravely sticking out their necks.”

    Asha Jadeja has expansive plans; she hopes to create a collaborative bridge between India and Pakistan through the RC fellowship. Maker Fest Pakistan is going to be a high impact collaboration between Indians and Pakistani fellows; she hopes that at least one or two Pakistani start-ups having roots in the valley will spin out of the fellowship.

    “The collaboration would not only be at subcontinent level but potentially at a global level,” remarks Jadeja

    Talking about relations between India and Pakistan, she says peace is crucial now, as is the need for better economic ties. “We need to engage more in business and trade. Let the trade flourish and our region will benefit from it. Peace is not only a good idea at the moment, it is a smart choice.”

    A subcontinental market
    Jadeja believes that the subcontinent is a huge market, and following the example of the European Union, if Pakistan and India were to collaborate, it would lead to a very powerful market which can give China a run for its money.

    “The Indian subcontinent as a bloc is so powerful that we will be second to China in terms of purchasing power and trade. It is crucial for us to collaborate as a group in the South Asian region,” she claims. Her efforts are just one small step towards making this happen.

    “The movement must accelerate as we can’t afford to slow down.”

  • kaalchakra

    saadhafiz, Asha Jadeja is doing good work. Let’s hope a Gorki who financially benefits Pakistan does not frighten PMAM.

  • Mohan

    Asha Jadeja will be warmly welcomed by ‘Aman Ki Asha’ team.

  • saadhafiz

    Kaal: “Women particularly should concern themselves with peace because men by nature are more foolhardy and headstrong, and their overwhelming desire to avenge themselves prevents them from foreseeing the resulting dangers and terrors of war. But woman by nature is more gentle and circumspect. Therefore, if she has sufficient will and wisdom she can provide the best possible means to pacify man.”

    ― Christine de Pizan, The Treasure of the City of Ladies

  • kaalchakra

    Saad bhai, more or less true – although sometimes women can take leading role in sowing divisions 🙂

  • saadhafiz

    Kaal: agree 🙂 women have to try harder!

    “A wife should always be few feet behind her husband. If he is an MA you should be a BA.If he is 5’4’tall you shouldn’t be more than 5’3’tall. If he is earning five hundred rupees you should never earn more than four hundred and ninety nine rupees.That’s the only rule to follow if you want a happy marriage…No partnership can ever be equal.It will always be unequal, but take care it is unequal in favor of the husband. If the scales tilt in your favor, God help you, both of you.”

    ― Shashi Deshpande

  • tajender
  • kaalchakra

    Ha ha, she may be onto something. Why didn’t I find a wife who understood that? 🙂

  • tajender

    ranger CM,…क्या यही गुजरात मॉडल था जिसका देश भर में गीत गाते घूम रहे थे? विज्ञापन का मायाजाल व विकास का गुब्बारा सड़कों पर धूं-धूं कर जल रहा है. laloo prasad,

  • saadhafiz

    Neither did I 🙂

  • saadhafiz

    Who killed Dr Malleshappa Kalburgi? Soutik Biswas BBC News 31 August 2015

    A meeting was held to condole the death of Malleshappa Kalburgi on Sunday

    So who killed Malleshappa Kalburgi, a leading Indian scholar and a well-known rationalist thinker?

    Police say they are still investigating the motive for Sunday morning’s killing. Two men arrived by motorcycle at the scholar’s home in Dharwad in Karnataka state. One knocked on his door, entered the house claiming to be Dr Kalburgi’s student, had a brief conversation with the teacher – then shot him dead and escaped on the waiting bike.

    The death of a “straight-talking, rationalist researcher of ancient Kannada literature”, as a newspaper described him, has shocked the nation. Police are exploring whether the killing is linked to last year’s remarks by Dr Kalburgi against idol worship, which had angered right-wing Hindu groups.

    The former university vice-chancellor had been given police protection after Hindu hardliners protested against his comments. Some of these groups actually celebrated the professor’s killing on social media yesterday.

    Many believe Dr Kalburgi made many enemies within his own Lingayat community – an influential Hindu sect that dominates life and politics in Karnataka – with his outspoken remarks about its traditional beliefs and practices.

    Lingayatas, a middle caste, comprise 12-14% of Karnataka’s population, and dominate politics in the state – most of the state’s chief ministers have belonged to the community, which are now also the Hindu nationalist BJP’s main support base. There are some 2,000 powerful Lingayat community mutts, or monastic establishments, which also run professional colleges.

    Dr Kalburgi was a leading scholar and a well-known rationalist thinker

    As Raghu Karnad writes perceptively in The Wire website, Dr Kalburgi’s murder may have more to do with the “fine rivalries and high political stakes within Lingayat caste politics”.

    Dr Kalburgi was a scholar of the vachana verses, the founding literature of the Lingayats. Vachanas are like daily rituals, helping people to lead their daily lives.

    He had “frequently riled the Lingayat orthodoxy” with his interpretation of the verses and had received death threats from conservative members of his community.

    Dr Kalburgi had been given police protection

    “What Dr Kalburgi was giving was a liberal interpretation of the verses, which was more cosmopolitan and modern in its approach”, says an expert. This, writes Karnad, had “implications not only for the theology of the Lingayat establishment, but for its enormous political and financial power”.

    In 1989, community hardliners had threatened to kill him for writing a “Kannada-language book they claim blasphemes a 12th century saint”, according to a civil rights group report.

    Dr Kalburgi was given protection by police and a group of 43 local writers and academics had formed a committee in support of the book. Recently, he had irked the hardliners again by saying that Lingayats could not be called Hindus.

    At a meeting to mark his death yesterday, there was an overarching concern, writes Karnad, that a “culture of lethal violence might overwhelm the hallowed culture of discussion and questioning in Lingayat society”.

    Dr Kalburgi’s killing comes two years after the murder of another prominent rationalist-thinker, Dr Narendra Dabholkar, in the western city of Pune. His killers have still not been caught.

    But Sunday’s killing reminds me of the fate of Perumal Murugan, the well-known writer in the Tamil language who earlier this year announced his decision to give up writing forever after wrathful protests against his novel Madhorubhagan by local Hindu and caste-based groups. “Author Perumal Murugan has died,” the Tamil writer and professor posted on Facebook then.

    This time a thinker actually has been killed.

  • saadhafiz

    The Express Tribune 01 Sep 2015

    An Afghan judge hits a woman with a whip in front of a crowd in Ghor province, Afghanistan

    An Afghan man and woman found guilty of adultery received 100 lashes on Monday in front of a crowd who filmed their punishment, TV footage showed.

    Public lashings and executions were common under the Taliban, who enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia law from 1996-2001. The militant group was ousted from power by a US-led coalition and such punishments are now rare.

    The footage, taken in the western province of Ghor, showed a woman wrapped in a head-to-toe burqa and a man each receive the punishment from a man in a turban wielding a leather whip, watched by a group of mostly seated men.

    Read: Afghan Taliban lash two men in public

    The two remained in a crouching position throughout and did not appear to cry out.

    The sentencing was backed by the government in Ghor province, where the trial took place.

    “They had relations a long time ago but were arrested early this month,” a spokesman for governor Seema Jowenda said. “Their punishment is based on Sharia law and will teach others a lesson.”

    A local judge said the penalty was in line with the constitution and criminal law. A spokesman for the justice ministry was unavailable for comment.

    Read: IS religious police publicly lashes musicians

    The foreign-backed government does not enforce Sharia law and generally condemns the practices of beating and stoning when they occur, particularly in areas under insurgent control.

    Earlier this month, five people were arrested in the north for beating a man and his daughter for robbery. In May, a woman was beaten to death by a mob in the centre of Kabul after being falsely accused of burning a Koran.

    That attack was widely condemned by rights groups and some of those involved in the killing have been imprisoned.

  • saadhafiz cyril almeida

    Dawn News August 30

    This isn’t a week for civilians. Wars old and new will be celebrated and much made of the abilities and wisdom of the Great Protectors. Which is fine, really. What’s a week between friends.

    Especially if there’s not much good to say. 1965 was a bad idea taken to perfection, all three stages of it. First came Gibraltar, that silliness of sending irregulars and radicalised civilians over into India-held Kashmir to foment revolution.

    When revolution didn’t show up, we got into the busi­ness of Grand Slam — sending regular army troops over to wrest a bit of India-held Kashmir and win that most lusted after of victories, a strategic one.

    We don’t have to rely on uninformed opinion, because there is a uniformed one available.

    Then came actual war across the border, for which we were somehow unprepared and scrambled to fight to a stalemate because the Indians were a bunch of reluctant invaders.

    Told you, it’s not a week for civilians. Luckily, we don’t have to rely on uninformed opinion, because there is a uniformed one available.

    How’d one screw-up, Gibraltar, lead to an even bigger cock-up, Grand Slam?

    So there it is. An official history by an official general in a proper book with maps and diagrams. But who needs history when we’ve got a war to celebrate.

  • saadhafiz

    Pakistan has lost international support on kashmir: ex pak envoy Outlook India | Lalit K Jha | Sep 02, 2015

    Pakistan no longer enjoys international support on Kashmir and is unlikely to get an approval for a referendum in the region from the UN Security Council, a former Pakistani envoy to the US has said.

    “Kashmir is an emotive issue in Pakistan because of the failure of its leaders to inform their people that Pakistan no longer enjoys international support on the matter,” said Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the US.

    Haqqani, who is currently director of South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, said for years Pakistan has sought international support for its position that Kashmir’s future must be resolved through dialogue with India and a plebiscite among the Kashmiri people.

    India does not even want to discuss the dispute without the end of Pakistan-sponsored terror, he added.

    “What most Pakistanis do not know is that the last United Nations Security Council resolution on Kashmir was passed in 1957 and Pakistan could not win support for a referendum in Kashmir today if it asked for a new vote at the United Nations,” Haqqani said in an op-ed published on the website of the Hudson Institute, a US-think tank.

    “Instead of accepting that it might be better for India and Pakistan to normalise relations by expanding trade and cross-border travel, Pakistani hardliners have stuck to a ‘Kashmir first’ mantra, which they know is unrealistic,” said Haqqani, who was at the loggerheads with the powerful Army when in office.

    Posturing on Kashmir gets Pakistan nowhere but its leaders feel they need to do it any way to maintain support from Islamists and the military at home, he said.

    According to Haqqani, hardliners in an increasingly self-confident India play on Indians’ frustration with Pakistani state support for jihadis, such as those responsible for terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

    “There is empty talk of ‘teaching Pakistan a lesson’ without acknowledging that teaching military lessons to nations armed with nuclear weapons is never easy. Indians could learn from the United States’ frustrations with North Korea,” he said.

  • saadhafiz

    India and Pakistan’s Dialogue of the Deaf


    KARACHI, Pakistan —

    We are at it again. India and Pakistan are talking a lot these days, mostly about why they don’t want to talk to each other. Our national security advisers were supposed to meet last week. And they were supposed to talk about terrorism. Instead, they did what they do best: They hurled accusations at each other about how the other side doesn’t really know how to talk, and the meeting was canceled.

  • Gorki

    Dear Saadhafiz,
    Thank you for the link. Mohammad Hanif is always a pleasure to read. A lot of sad truth tinged with just the right amount of humor.

  • bonobashi

    I envy him, Gorki, in his ability to say something that we all know and we all believe to be true in the fewest possible words.

  • saadhafiz

    The Express Tribune September 3, 2015

    Pakistan’s phoenix complex by Anjum Niaz

    “Wanted is a superhero at all times. Our hero complex is like the Phoenix, a mythical creature that gets burnt but rises from the ashes again and again. It’s an emblem of immortality, rekindling hope and optimism. Pakistanis, the majority of whom are semi-literate, ignorant and poor, have, since their country’s independence, found and lost their Phoenix-like leaders who have cyclically fooled, hoodwinked, cheated and tricked them, only to perish and be reborn with a different name and a different face.”

  • saadhafiz

    Is Teesta Setalvad India’s most hounded activist? Soutik Biswas 2 September 2015 BBC News

    “She has been called a “threat to India’s national security” and a prosecutor wants to send her to prison. Her house and office have been raided a number of times, her bank accounts have been frozen and she has been relentlessly vilified and threatened on social media.”

    Teesta Setalvad, the country’s best-known social activist, has been accused of receiving funds illegally, violating foreign exchange rules, embezzling funds raised from victims of religious riots and coaching witnesses.”