National

Sanjiv Bhatt gets support from police

+ Pic

Gujarat CM Modi faces another challenge as Naresh Brahmbhatt, the head constable who was dismissed from service last week for praising IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, has said that he can prove that Bhatt had gone to attend the meeting held at the chief minister's residence on February 27, 2002.

The head constable was dismissed after he praised the IPS officer for submitting an affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming that he was present at the February 27, 2002 meeting at the chief minister's house.

Brahmbhatt told that he was posted as head constable at Memnagar Chowky in Ghatlodia on February 27, 2002. "I got a call at 9.30pm from Gandhinagar telling me that the DGP's office wanted to know whether or not Bhatt had left for the meeting. Bhatt was not reachable on his phone while the DGP's office was trying to contact him for the meeting," Brahmbhatt said.

"I immediately went to Bhatt's house," he said. Brahmbhatt said that, after receiving the call, he had gone to Bhatt's house on Drive-in road where he was told that the IPS officer had already left for the meeting. Brahmbhatt further said that the orders to go to Bhatt's residence were verbal orders and were not to be recorded in the station diary.

Government officials, however, said that Brahmbhatt was making these claims because he had been dismissed from service for indulging in union activities against service rules. Brahmbhatt was dismissed from Gujarat police on May 4, 2011.

Affidavit at a glance
What is there in Sanjiv Bhatt's affidavit which gives sleepless night to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. Here are some points
What Modi said at a crucial meeting Feb 27, 2002 after the train burning incident: "The chief minister Shri. Narendra Modi said that the bandh call had already been given and the party (BJP) had decided to support the same, as incidents like the burning of Kar-Sevaks at Godhra could not be tolerated. He further impressed upon the gathering that for too long the Gujarat Police had been following the principle of balancing the actions against Hindus and Muslims while dealing with the communal riots in Gujarat.

 This time the situation warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not recur ever again. The Chief Minister Shri. Narendra Modi expressed the view that the emotions were running very high amongst the Hindus and it was imperative that they be allowed to vent their anger."

Bhatt's observations on the Special Investigation Team (SIT): "..I believe it is my painful duty to bring to the notice of this Hon'ble Court that the SIT does not appear to be living up to the enormous trust reposed in it by the Supreme Court of India, to conduct an impartial and thorough probe into the allegations of a larger conspiracy and administrative complicity behind the Gujarat riots of 2002 and hence the present affidavit."

"The leakage of details regarding my earlier deposition and interaction with SIT have eventually found their way to the media and have further jeopardized my safety and the safety and security of my family members.

"SIT has chosen to intimidate certain witnesses and coerce them in to refraining from stating the true facts and thereby has created an impression that the SIT is becoming a party to the ongoing cover-up operation in Gujarat."

"I have stated before the SIT that many serious incidents of communal violence, including the carnage at Gulberg Society, could have been easily prevented by firm and determined action on part of the Police.

"Even today, the situation in Gujarat is such, that witnesses would be afraid of vindictive reprisals and persecution at the hand of the State machinery. Evidently, witnesses serving under the control of State government would be highly reluctant to come forward and take a stand that could imperil their own safety or the safety and security of their families. I therefore request that this Hon'ble Court be pleased to ensure that the SIT follows up on all the leads provided by me in such manner that even reluctant witnesses feel safe and confident to state the truth."

In 2002, Bhatt was based in Gandhinagar as deputy commissioner of intelligence in the State Intelligence Bureau. He is now posted as principal of the State Reserve Police Centre in Junagadh. Bhatt said that there was continuous leakage of testimonies and information from SIT to the Gujarat government, which he had mentioned to the investigation group.

"It may kindly be noted that my fears regarding the confidentiality of my deposition before SIT were eventually confirmed as the contents of my signed deposition as well as the details of my interaction with Shri A.K. Malhotra and Shri Paramveer Singh-Members SIT, were somehow available to the highest echelons of the Government of Gujarat. As a result and consequence of the said breach of confidentiality, I was visited and continue to be visited with unpleasant consequences," the affidavit said.

The 1988 batch IPS officer said the SIT was not interested in following up on his information on the Feb 27, 2002 meeting, citing technical rules. "I have time and again tried to bring these facts to the notice of the Special Investigation Team but they seem to be disinclined to follow-up these important leads in the course of the enquiry/investigation being carried out by them," said Bhatt.

He further said that there was "unconcealed hostility" from SIT members, when he tried to bring up the "issue of a larger conspiracy or official orchestration behind the Gujarat Riots of 2002, as also the ongoing attempts at cover-up".

"This was even more obvious when I gave names of witnesses who could corroborate the fact of my having  attended the said meeting with the Chief Minister on 27.2.2002," he said.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2011 on page no. 10

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus