Heroes Of The Secular Brigade: A Glimpse Into The Doings And Misdoings Of Sanjiv Bhatt
While the Supreme Court’s verdict trashing IPS Sanjiv Bhatt’s claim that then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi and his then Home Minister Amit Shah were complicit in the riots of 2002 came as a a blow to the detractors of Modi, until 2013 Modi’s defence had few takers. Madhu Kishwar was among the leaders of the section of civil society that was calling the bluff of the anti-Modi brigade. We reproduce her two-year old exposition on the falsehoods of Bhatt and his backers.
Just as during the festival of Holi, people take a lot of liberties with each other saying ‘Bura na maano, Holi hai’ (please don’t mind, this is Holi), so also the new mantra of the Congress party is to respond to charges of heinous corruption, murders, mayhem, rapes and instigating riots is: ‘Bura na mano, we are Secular’. However, the pranks people play on Holi are relatively innocent and the play is with colours. But the Congress is playing a very divisive and bloody game which has life and death consequences for India and its people.
The mask of ‘secularism’ is what allows numerous Kamal Naths to continue to reign supreme in the Congress Party despite their involvement in the 1984 massacre of Sikhs; this is how Congress Party can overlook thousands of communal and caste riots under its regimes; this is how Lalu Yadav and Mayawati as valued partners of UPA brazen out corruption cases against them; this is how a goonda infested party headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav, charged with massive scams retains the badge of honour reserved for ‘secular’ allies of Congress party; this is how Abhishek Manu Singhvi returns as Congress party’s official spokesman despite the most revolting evidence of him demanding sexual favours from a woman lawyer aspiring to be a Judge of the Delhi High Court; this is how the Party can justify its alliance with Muslim League in Kerala; this is how Sonia Gandhi and her relatives get away with using the state machinery to protect them from countless charges of corruption and crime; this is how Omar Abdullah keeps getting good character certificates from the Congress High Command despite having been personally implicated in humungous corruption, large scale human rights abuses and killings under his regime, including alleged murder of a senior party colleague. The list of all sins, all crimes justified/forgiven to the Congress Party and its allies because of the mask of secularism are endless.
A good illustration of this mind set is the sudden propping up of IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt as one of the prime stars of anti Modi Brigade in 2009.
On 23rd March 2008, in response to a petition filed by Ehsan Jafri’s widow, Zakia Jafri along with Teesta Setalvad, alleging criminal conspiracy by Narendra Modi’s government, a ‘deliberate and intentional failure’ to protect life and property, and failure to fulfill their constitutional duty, the Supreme Court appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief R K Raghavan, to ‘inquire and investigate’ cases relating to the various incidents connected with 2002 riots. In 2009, the Court directed the SIT to investigate the actions of Modi and 62 other people named in Jafri’s petition. (I will write about this petition later). It is at this point that Bhatt was brought in as a prime witness against Modi.
Sanjiv Bhatt made three allegations against Modi in 2009. The Special Investigative Team appointed and monitored by the Supreme Court of India dismissed each one of those allegations to be false and motivated. After prolonged and thorough inquiries among several other reasons cited by the SIT to dismiss Bhatt’s charges, they noted:
- Sanjiv Bhatt has not been able to give any satisfactory explanation why he did not file an affidavit before Nanavati Commission and also did not appear as a witness in response to the Govt. circular before any legal authority when he was in possession of plethora of information and was an eyewitness to some of the important events. He fails to explain why he did not respond to a public notice issued by SIT on 11-04-2008. His silence for a period of more than nine years without any proper explanation appears to be callous and gives an impression that he is trying to manipulate things to his personal advantage to settle his service matters.’ (SIT report page no.35-36)
- On being questioned, as to why did he not appear as a witness in response to a public notice issued by SIT on 11-03-2008, he claimed that he did not disclose the same to anyone, as it would not have been appropriate on his part to divulge any information that he was privy to as an Intelligence Officer unless he was under a legal obligation to do so.
- He also stated that he did not file any affidavit or appeared before any commission or body enquiring into the communal riots of 2002, because he was not asked by the Govt. of Gujarat, DGP or Addl. DG (Int.) to do so. However, he denied knowledge as to whether the so called instructions given by the Chief Minister were passed on to the field units by any of the officers, who had attended the meeting on 27-02-2002. [He needs to explain who put him under ‘legal obligation’ to make common cause with anti Modi NGOs and Congress party to personally target Modi after 9 years of silence].
Instead of succeeding in getting Modi implicated, Sanjiv Bhatt ended up being seriously indicted by the SIT for his mischief. SIT also took note of criminal cases against Bhatt which are incidentally all from pre-Modi days. They include charges of recruitment scam under his charge as SP Banaskanta, abduction, killings and planting narcotics with a view to blackmail. The SIT report not only lists his past criminal record and dubious credentials but also concludes after investigating his charges that Bhatt lied and brought in tutored witnesses to implicate Modi.
Gujarat Vigilance Commission recommended twice on 15-07-2002 and 19-10-2006 that Sanjiv Bhatt should be placed under suspension for his professional misconducts, but Bhatt managed to get stay orders from the court each time. SIT concludes: ‘…it can be inferred that Sanjiv Bhatt is facing a lot of problems in service matters and has got an axe to grind against the Govt. of Gujarat and, therefore, his evidence is ill motivated and cannot be relied upon.’
But since the media either ignored the SIT report or joined Teesta Setalvad in attacking SIT and continued repeating the same old hackneyed charges against Modi even after he was cleared by the SIT report, Bhatt continued being treated as a hero who had taken on the ‘Hitlerian tyrant’ Modi.
Congress rewarded Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife Shweta Bhatt with a Congress ticket to fight the 2012 election against Narendra Modi. Shweta Bhatt’s campaign was run by a colourful coalition that included Shabnam Hashmi’s Anhad, Teesta Setalvad’s CJP, Togadia’s VHP, Vinay Katyar’s Bajrang Dal and elements of the RSS!
Glimpse into Bhatt’s Past History
A batch mate of Sanjiv Bhatt who has known him from the days of their training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy in Mussoorie told me that from the very start he had acquired such a notorious reputation that no self-respecting trainees wanted to engage with him. Even after he joined the service, he was shunned by the honest among officers because of his dirty deals and high handed behaviour.
This is what former Additional Director General Police; AI Syed who was his direct boss for some time and wrote his first ‘Annual Confidential Report’ (ACR) had to say about him:
‘When I was Superintendent of Police in Mehsana, Sanjiv Bhatt was my supernumerary. I wrote his first ACR in which I said: ‘He acts first and thinks later’. He really needed to be kept under control. Before he left Mehsana I told some officers, his actions are so wild he will be in jail someday. That was my prediction in 1990. He would open fire over petty things. For example, at one time he fired at a group of youngsters simply because they were gambling. At the time of 2002 riots, he was nowhere on the scene. He had so many cases and complaints against him including charges of abduction, extortion and unprovoked firing that he was not getting a promotion. The Vigilance Commission had recommended his suspension.
But DG Pandey took pity on him. He corrected his ACRs and promoted him as DIG. He was sent as a training officer near SRP, Junagarh. But Bhatt wanted to be posted in Ahmedabad. So he decided to create a ruckus. He is known for using blackmail any time he is in trouble or denied a promotion. Had he been posted in Ahmedabad, he would have not filed false cases against Modi and his officers. He is a sirfira (crackpot) type. A man who is callous with his own parents is not going to be loyal to anyone else. I know him inside out (rag- rag jaanta hoon main iski). When his father was lying critically ill in hospital, he never went to see him once.
When Sanjiv Bhatt was posted as SP, Rajpipla in Narmada district, the prince of Rajpipla invited him to stay for free in a part of his Palace. Even after her got transferred out of Rajpipla, he refused to vacate the palace. What is worse he had started an affair with the wife of his benefactor. That was another reason for his refusal to vacate the Palace. He is essentially a namak haram– never true to the salt of his benefactors. The DG Police as well as Congress leader Ahmed Patel had to intervene to get him to vacate the palace.
This is the kind of life he has lived and now he pretends to be the new Mahatma Gandhi. This is all dirty politics. They are not going to get honest officers to make false complaints. Only compromised people will do so. The reason is they have their share in everything. They have gobbled up enormous loads of money in the name of helping riot victims. For that they need to keep the Muslim community in a state of siege.’
Continued in next page.
A senior official told me: ‘Sanjiv Bhatt was always given inconsequential postings to minimise his nuisance value and harmful tendencies.’ Another senior bureaucrat said:
‘Bhatt has a long track record of blackmailing not just people under his charge but also his fellow officers and bosses. Every time he gets into trouble, he resorts to blackmail. In all his postings, he committed plenty of high handed acts. Most people are terrified of filing cases against police officers because they have the power and clout to ruin your life. But three serious criminal cases filed against him reached the courts. But Bhatt is a past master in getting stay orders in cases against him. That is why action could not be taken against him; despite a very unsavoury track record and even after the Vigilance Commission ordered his suspension. Since Bhatt is a Gujarati and there are very few Gujarati’s in bureaucracy, Bhatt is able to play on Gujarati connections to escape punishment. This time round Supreme Court came to his rescue by giving a stay order on Bhatt’s trial.’
I provide relevant sections of the SIT report indicting Bhatt for his pre-2002 misdemeanours that resulted in criminal cases against him as well as his testimony against Modi. Sections in bold inside brackets are my comments. The rest of the paras are staright from SIT report with minor editorial changes in the interest of brevity.
Criminal Complaints Against Sanjiv Bhatt
Atrocities on Villagers, Jam Jodhpur:
- While handling law and order situation during his posting as ASP Jamnagar in the year 1990, Sanjiv Bhatt committed atrocities on peaceful and innocent villagers belonging to a particular community at a place called Jam Jodhpur. In the beatings by police, one person was killed. The victims included a pregnant woman, two assistant engineers of Irrigation Department and one Circle Officer of the Revenue Department.
- Bhatt applied provisions of the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) against innocent persons and arrested 140 individuals under this Act. Due to public pressure, the Government got an inquiry conducted by a retired Judicial Officer into the incident, Bhatt was found guilty of (a) misuse of TADA (b) police atrocities and (c) unnecessary imposition of curfew for 70 hours leading to hardship and harassment to the people.
- Criminal case of death of a person due to police atrocities in the incident was investigated by State CID (Crime) against Sanjiv Bhatt and others. After completion of investigation, the Investigating Officer sought prosecution sanction from the Government u/s 197 Cr.PC, which was declined and therefore, a closure report was filed in the competent court. However, the Court rejected the closure report on 20.12.1995 and took independent cognizance of the offence. The State Government filed a Criminal Revision Application in the Sessions Court, which was rejected.
- The case u/s 302, 323, 506(1), 114 of IPC has now been committed to the Sessions Court, Jamnagar and is presently pending with the Fast Track Court, Khambhalia for framing of charges against Sanjiv Bhatt and others. Gujarat High Court had awarded a compensation of Rs.1, 50,000/- to the victim who had died due to police atrocities in the above case.
Abduction, Planting Narcotics and Blackmail:
- Another criminal complaint was filed against Sanjiv Bhatt, while he was posted as SP; Banaskantha District in 1996 by Sumersingh Rajpurohit, an Advocate practicing at Pali, Rajasthan and a criminal case was registered against Bhatt & others.
- On completion of the investigation, the charge sheet was filed against Sanjiv Bhatt & others u/s 114, 120B, 323, 342, 348, 357, 365, 368, 388, 452, 201 & 482 IPC and Sec. 9, 17, 18, 29, 58 (1) & 58 (2) r/w Sec. 37 of NDPS Act in the court of Spl. Judge, NDPS Act, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
- The allegations in brief are that the complainant Advocate was occupying a property as a tenant in Pali (Rajasthan), which was owned by a lady, who happened to be a sister of R. R. Jain, a sitting Judge of Gujarat High Court.
- As per this criminal complaint Sanjiv Bhatt and his subordinate police officers allegedly planted 1½ kg of a narcotic drug in a room of a hotel at Palanpur, Gujarat, which was falsely shown as having been occupied by Rajpurohit, though he was at Pali (Rajasthan) at that time. The Advocate was abducted at midnight on the instructions of Sanjiv Bhatt by his subordinate police officers of Gujarat police, who went from Palanpur, Gujarat to Pali (Rajasthan) to abduct him.
- Advocate Rajpurohit was brought to Palanpur, Gujarat and pressurized by Sanjiv Bhatt and his subordinate police officers to vacate the said property by showing him arrested under the Anti- Narcotics law, NDPS. While in the custody of Gujarat Police and due to police torture, Rajpurohit vacated the property and physical possession of the property was handed over to the sister of RR. Jain, Judge of Gujarat High Court.
- Sanjiv Bhatt and his subordinate police officers thereafter released Sumersingh Rajpurohit on 08-05-1996, by filing a report u/s 169 Cr.PC, in which it was mentioned that Sumersingh could not be identified in the Test Identification Parade. The case was essentially filed to blackmail Rajpurohit into vacating the property. Once the purpose was achieved, Rajpurohit was freed and the false case against him withdrawn.
- Quashing Petitions were filed in this matter by Sanjiv Bhatt and associates in Rajasthan and Gujarat High Court, but the same had been dismissed. The matter is now pending before the Supreme Court of India.
- On the complaint of Sidheshwar Puri, Secretary, Bar Association, Pali (Rajasthan), National Human Rights Commission taking a very serious view of this false case under NDPS Act vide its order dated 15-09-2010 asked Govt. of Gujarat to pay a sum of Rs. one lakh as monetary relief to Advocate Sumersingh. A charge sheet served upon him on 29-12-2010, for irregularities in police recruitment under his chairmanship as SP, Banaskantha is still pending.
[It is noteworthy that the Judge R.R Jain on whose behalf Bhatt carried out a series of criminal acts was demoted and suspended. He retired under suspension. But Bhatt got a stay order from the Supreme Court claiming immunity on the plea that he did all those acts in his “official capacity”. Therefore, he cannot be tried for them. Bhatt has remained unscathed thus far. Thanks to the generous help provided to him by the Congress Party and well-heeled NGO of Teesta Setalvad, he has gotten stay orders in all other cases as well with Setalvad’s organization alleging that “vindictive” Modi is persecuting “honest officers” like Bhatt. This despite the fact that all these criminal cases were filed against Bhatt much before Modi became CM.]
Extracts from the SIT report on Sanjiv Bhatt’s allegations
Allegation No.1: Narendra Modi wanted Muslims to be taught a lesson.
- Sanjiv Bhatt claimed to have attended a late night meeting of 27-02-2002 called by the Chief Minister at his residence around 23:00 hours about which he was supposedly intimated by State IB Control Room and State Police Control Room that K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP wanted him to accompany the latter in the said meeting.
- Sanjiv Bhatt claims that he accompanied K. Chakravarthi in the latter’s car from DGP’s office to CM’s residence and attended the said meeting, which was also attended by In-charge Chief Secretary Swarna Kanta Varma, ACS (Home) Ashok Narayan, Anil Mukim, the then Addl. PS to CM, P. C. Pande, the then CP, Ahmedabad City and K. Nityanandam, the then Secretary (Home). However, he is unable to recollect, as to whether P. K. Mishra, the then Principal Secretary to CM was present in the said meeting or not. Sanjiv Bhatt has claimed that he mentioned the fact of having attended the said meeting on 27-02-2002 night in his movement diary.
- According to him, in this meeting the CM impressed upon the gathering that-“for too long the Gujarat Police had been following the principle of balancing the actions against the 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.”
Reasons provided by SIT to dismiss Bhatt as a liar:
- Seven senior administrative and police officers who actually attended the meeting–namely Ashok Narayan, the then ACS (Home), P. K. Mishra, the then Principal Secretary to CM, K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP, P. C. Pande, the then CP, Ahmedabad City, Anil Mukim, the then Addl. PS to CM, K. Nityanandam, the then Secretary (Home) and Prakash S. Shah, the then Addl. Secretary (L&O), who had been earlier examined during 2009-10 have categorically stated that Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) was not present in the said meeting held at CM’s residence on 27-02-2002 night since his portfolio as a junior officer of SP level did not qualify him to attend the meeting at CM’s residence, especially when the concerned officials, O. P. Mathur, the then IGP (Admn. & Sec.) and Upadhyay, the then DCI (Communal) were available.
- All the above mentioned officers who participated in the meeting held on 27-02-2002, refuted Bhatt’s charge that the Chief Minister asked his officers to let Hindu teach Muslims a lesson for Godhra violence.
- K.Chakravarthi, the then DGP has categorically denied having given any instructions to Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) to attend the aforesaid meeting. He has further stated that Sanjiv Bhatt did not accompany him to CM’s residence in his car from DG’s office, as he (DGP) did not visit office at that time. He has also stated that in case Raiger, Addl. DG (Intelligence) was available at Ahmedabad; he would have given instructions to State Control Room to call him. According to Chakravarthi even otherwise, O. P. Mathur, the then IGP (Admn. & Sec.) was available and Upadhyay, DCI (Communal) resumed his duties in the evening, who could have been called to attend the meeting rather than asking Sanjiv Bhatt, a junior officer of SP level to attend the said meeting.
- Call detail records of the Government mobile phone no.9825049398 allotted to Sanjiv Bhatt show that on 27-02-2002, Sanjiv Bhatt remained at Ahmedabad till about 1120 hrs and returned to Ahmedabad at 1925 hrs. He attended to various calls till 2040 hrs and thereafter, there is no record of any calls made or received by him.” (SIT page no.34).The meeting at CM’s residence was called at 10:30 PM after the CM returned from Godhra. The call records indicate that Bhatt did not receive any summons to attend any meeting that night
- G.C .Raiger, the then Addl. DG (Intelligence) has stated that there was no such system of submitting any monthly movement diary by DCI and that Sanjiv Bhatt had never submitted any such diary. Raiger denied having received any information about the meeting from either the State IB Control Room, State Control Room or even Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security)G. C. Raiger, has also stated that Sanjiv Bhatt was never posted as Staff Officer to Addl. DG (Int.), because there is no post like that in the State IB. Further, Sanjiv Bhatt could not have been a Staff Officer to the DGP, as Late V. S. Shinde, Dy.SP was posted as Staff Officer to the DGP. Raiger also stated that once in a while Sanjiv Bhatt used to accompany him in the meetings called by the Chief Minister, but was made to wait outside with the relevant files/ information and did not join the meetings. Raiger has also stated that on 28-02-2002, he did come to know about the meeting called by the Chief Minister at his residence on 27-02-2002, but Sanjiv Bhatt did not inform him of having attended the said meeting and also about its agenda or the matters discussed in the said meeting.
- B. Sreekumar formerly ADGP Intelligence stated that at the time of filing an affidavit before Nanavati Shah Inquiry Commission, he had asked all the officers of State IB to provide him with the relevant information and documents in respect of Godhra riots but Sanjiv Bhatt did not give him any information about the said meeting. In his interview given to Hindi news channel (HNC), Star at 12.35 hrs on 22.04.2011 Sreekumar claims that Sanjiv Bhatt never informed him about having attended a meeting at CM’s residence on 27.02.2002. According to Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt was handling security portfolio and communal portfolio was being looked after by another officer. Sreekumar has also stated in the interview that it was a normal procedure that if a junior officer had attended a meeting on behalf of a senior, he was required to submit a report to his superior and that G. C. Raigar, the then ADGP (Int.) should be asked about it. As already stated above, Raigar has denied having received any information/ report from Sanjiv Bhatt in this regard.
[The malafide intent of Bhatt’s and Kumar’s allegations about Modi having asked the police to let Hindus vent anger is proven by the actual statements issued by Narendra Modi on Doordarshan at 7 pm on 28.02.2002 and in the press on the first two days are at complete variance with Bhatt’s allegation.]
“I share the grief of the people of Gujarat but the solution does not lie in non-peace, non-restraint or venting out of anger.”…. “I pray with folded hands that this is the time for maintaining peace, the need is to control the nerves.”….
“Today, this the time for maintaining peace. It is necessary to maintain self-control. We are determined to punish those who are guilty and they will not be spared.”
“Will you not help to save Gujarat? Come and help Government. Government is requesting for help. Government is seeking your help to punish the guilty through law. Amidst your anger I pray you to display the unique characteristic of Gujarat-of showing restraint and maintaining peace during adversities. Come, let us serve Gujarat through peace and self-control, let us strengthen the arms of law”…..
“The entire country shares our grief but the responsibility to maintain peace and restraint is ours. I understand your anger, your pain but in the interest of Gujarat, to see that its future doesn’t get ruined, to ensure that Gujarat doesn’t get a blot on its face, it is necessary that five crore Gujarati keep calm and exercise self-restraint.”……“It is our responsibility that the lives of innocent are not put at stake.”…..
“Ver ver this ham tu nathi” (Hatred is never won over by hatred)……
“My fervent appeal to the people of the state is that the time has come to strengthen the hands of law and maintain peace. I pray to the people that they will help in bringing those involved in violence to book.”(Ahmedabad / dt.28/2/2002)
- All the participants of the meeting held on 27-02-2002, namely Swarna Kanta Varma, the then Chief Secretary in-charge, Ashok Narayan, the then ACS (Home), K. Chakravarthi, the then Director General Police, Anil Mukim, the then Addl. Private Secretary to Chief Minister, P. C. Pande, the then Commissioner Police, Ahmedabad City and K. Nityanandam, the then Secretary (Home) denied any such words uttered by the Chief Minister.
- All those who attended the meeting stated that the Chief Minister expressed the apprehension that the Godhra incident was very serious and bound to affect the public at large, as a result of which there could be repercussions and therefore, adequate bandobast was needed to avoid any untoward incident.
- Sanjiv Bhatt tutored witnesses to support his claim of attending the meeting called by the CM at his residence on 27-02-2003. Sanjiv Bhatt’s first witness K.D Panth denied that he followed Sanjiv Bhatt to the meeting and Bhatt’s second witness Shailesh Raval sent a written complaint to the SIT fearing reprisal from Sanjiv Bhatt for his unwillingness to make false statements to the SIT. The only witness Tarachand Yadav, who supported Sanjiv Bhatt’s claim, had been dismissed from service on charge of getting employment through false and forged certificates. Therefore SIT concluded that his testimony cannot be relied on since Tarachand could well be settling scores with the Government for his dismissal. (More details regarding these witnesses are given below).
- Another prime witness produced by Teesta Setalvad was R. B. Sreekumar, the then Addl. DG (Int.). He had claimed that K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP had informed him on 28-02-2002 that the Chief Minister had allegedly said in the meeting that, “ Komi Hullado Ma Tame Police Barabari Korocho Tame Be Hindu Ne Pakdo To Tame Be MusalmanoNe Pan Pakdocho. Have Em Nahi Chale Hinduono Gusso Uttarwa Do.” (In communal riots police takes action against Hindus and Muslims on one to one basis. This will not do now- allow Hindus to give vent to their anger). Chakravarthi has denied that he held any such talks with R. B. Sreekumar. Even otherwise, the version of R. B. Sreekumar becomes hearsay and inadmissible in view of denial of K. Chakravarthi.
- SIT concludes that “Assuming for the time being that the Chief Minister did make some utterances, there is a material difference between the two versions in as much as Sanjiv Bhatt has tried to improve his version by way of addition that this time the situation warranted, that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not recur ever again. Since the version of R.B. Sreekumar is on hearsay basis and the testimony of Sanjiv Bhatt does not have any corroboration, no reliance can be placed on either of them.
Allegation No.2: CM was reluctant to call in the army on 28th February morning
Sanjiv Bhatt has claimed to have attended a second meeting at CM’s residence on 28-02-2002 at about 1030 hrs along with G. C. Raiger, the then Addl. DG (Int.), in which the deployment of manpower during the Gujarat bandh was discussed to monitor the developing situation and that this meeting was also attended by K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP, Anil Mukim, the then Addl. PS to CM, Late Ashok Bhatt, the then Health Minister and I. K. Jadeja, the then Urban Development Minister.
- Bhatt has further stated that on the conclusion of the said meeting, the Chief Minister had instructed the DGP that Late Ashok Bhatt and I. K. Jadeja would be assisting the police in monitoring the situation and that all necessary assistance must be rendered to the ministers. Sanjiv Bhatt has also stated that CM had not specifically instructed as to how the ministers would assist the police.
- Further, according to Sanjiv Bhatt, the issue relating to the requisitioning of the Army was also discussed on the basis of the suggestions given by DGP and Addl. DG (Int.), but the Chief Minister seemed to be reluctant and was of the view that they should wait and watch, as to how the situation developed and not rush for the requisitioning of Army.
[This charge is also belied by the speed with which Modi government deployed the army to quell the riots. The first death due to rioting is reported at 12 noon on 28th February. By 2 pm a fax message was sent to the Home Minister for deployment of the Army. The very same evening the Defence Minister arrived in Ahmedabad and met the CM at 10:30 PM. By the next morning 11 am (that is within 20 hours of the first riot related death, the army had been fully deployed under the personal supervision of the Defence Minister. The State government provided full logistical support including 32 Executive Magistrates, 131 vehicles, 18 mobiles phones, as well as liaison and escort officers for the army.]
- Sanjiv Bhatt has claimed to have received information about a mob attack on Gulberg Society around 1130 hrs on 28-02-2002, and he had deputed Police Inspector Bharwad of Ahmedabad Regional Office located in Meghaninagar to go to Gulberg Society, to report on the developing situation and inform the State IB. According to Bhatt, he had conveyed these developments to DGP and Addl. DG (Int.) personally.
- In view of the fact that Late Ehsan Jafri, Ex-MP was residing in the Gulberg Society, Bhatt claimed to have telephonically conveyed the details about the developing situation to the Chief Minister directly. However, he does not recollect, as to whether he had spoken to the Chief Minister over landline or over the mobile phone of O. P. Singh, PA to CM.
- Sanjiv Bhatt has claimed to have attended another meeting at CM’s residence on 28.02.2002 afternoon for the assessment of the on-going situation, which was attended to by ACS (Home), DGP, Addl. DG (Int.), and Secretary (Home), in which the Chief Minister had agreed to send a formal requisition to Govt. of India for deployment of Army. He has claimed that he briefed the Chief Minister about the on-going developments at Gulberg Society and also about the threat to the life of Late Ehsan Jafri and other residents of the Gulberg Society.
- Bhatt went so far as to claim that the Chief Minister took him aside after the meeting and informed him that he had learnt that Late Ehsan Jafri had opened fire on Hindus during earlier communal riots. According to Sanjiv Bhatt, the Chief Minister asked him to dig out all the facts pertaining to earlier instances, wherein Late Ehsan Jafri had opened fire during the past communal riots. Bhatt claimed that he conveyed these facts to G. C. Raiger, the then Addl. DG (Int.).
- However, Bhatt stated that he could not check/ collect this information as he remained busy with certain urgent matters connected with the riots. He denied that he submitted any report in this regard to his department and claimed that he had attended this meeting as a Staff Officer to the DGP or Addl. DG (Int.).
Reasons provided by SIT to dismiss Bhatt as a liar
- According to R.B Sreekumar, formerly ADGP Intelligence on 28-02-2002, Sanjiv Bhatt remained at Ahmedabad till 1057 hrs and then returned to Ahmedabad at 2056 hrs. The claim of Sanjiv Bhatt that he had attended a meeting at CM’s residence on 28-02-2002, at 1030 hrs is therefore proved to be false and incorrect. CM’s residence is at Gandhinagar, more than 25 Kilometres from Ahmedabad, and normally takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach there.
- Sanjiv Bhatt’s further claim that he had seen Late Ashok Bhatt and I. K. Jadeja, the then Ministers in the DGP’s office at about 1100 hrs on 28-02-2002, is also belied from the call detail records in as much as the location of the mobile phone of Sanjiv Bhatt was at Prerna Tower, Vastrapur–1, Ahmedabad, which happened to be at a distance of 1.5 Kms approximately from his residence and Bhatt could not have reached Police Bhavan, Gandhinagar before 1130 hrs by any stretch of imagination. Moreover, his contention is also proved to be false from the statement of Ashok Narayan, the then ACS (Home), who denied that the two ministers were present in the said meeting. His subsequent conduct of getting his statement corroborated by way of introduction of two police personnel would also go to show that he is trying to introduce himself into the meeting.
- C. J. Bharwad the then PI, State IB, and Ahmedabad Region who was actually at ground zero has stated that on 28-02-2002, he had gone to Gulberg Society, Meghaninagar after getting information about the riotous mobs and passed on the various information reports collected by him to State IB Control Room. He has further stated that around 1215 hrs on 28-02-2002, he had sent a message to State IB Control Room that since Muslims reside in Gulberg Society in Meghaninagar area, a strict watch should be kept there. Bharwad contradicted the statement made by Sanjiv Bhatt and has denied to have any telephonic discussions with him about the situation in Gulberg Society in as much as the subject concerned the “Communal” Desk of IB being looked after by P. B.Upadhyay, the then DCI (Communal).He has further stated to have passed on a message at 1450 hrs on 28-02-2002, that a mob of 3000 rioters had surrounded Gulberg Society. On 28-02-2002 itself, he had passed on another message at 1700 hrs that a mob of 5000 rioters had surrounded and set fire to the Gulberg Society, in which several persons including Late Ehsan Jafri, Ex-MP had been burnt alive and that police deployment was required. The version of Bharwad belies the testimony of Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security), who has claimed that he had given directions to Bharwad to go to the Gulberg Society and give the latest updates and that Bharwad was in constant touch with him.
- Sanjiv Bhatt has claimed that in view of the threat of life to Ehsaan Jafri he had telephonically conveyed to the CM about the developing situation in Gulberg society. However, the SIT concluded that – “Notably there is no practice in Gujarat of SP level officers speaking directly to CM over phone”
- Most important of all, the SIT investigations led it to conclude that: “Sanjiv Bhatt is a tainted witness and therefore, cannot be relied upon keeping in view his background in the police department as he was involved in criminal cases of serious nature and departmental inquiries are also in progress against him. [page 179]”
[While these investigations were still on, SIT was provided proof of Bhatt’s regular dealings with the Congress Party leaders and its allied NGOs and journalists. In one such e-mail, Bhatt asked Gujarat Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil that he was “eagerly awaiting both the packages” and that he was “still awaiting the Blackberry” (See The Indian Express report dated July 31, 2011). It is widely alleged that “Blackberry” was a euphemism for the payment Bhatt used to receive from Gohil. ]
Allegation No 3: Sanjiv Bhatt claimed that the CM decided to bring the dead bodies of victims of Godhra train fire incident to Ahmedabad and parade them in Ahmedabad City with a view to provoking riots against Muslims.
- Bhatt has also stated that P. C. Pande, the then CP, Ahmedabad City had strongly opposed the Govt. decision for the transportation of dead bodies of Godhra victims to Ahmedabad as the same was likely to lead to serious communal riots in Ahmedabad City and these views were supported by K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP.
- According to Sanjiv Bhatt, Chakravarthi had conveyed to CM that the available resources of Gujarat Police were over stretched to cope with the Law & Order situation that was likely to arise in the wake of bandh call given by the VHP on the next day and had expressed his inability to supplement the manpower resources of CP, Ahmedabad City.
- Sanjiv Bhatt has further claimed that he expressed his opinion against the decision of BJP to support the bandh call given by VHP and also the decision of the administration to bring the dead bodies of the victims from Godhra to Ahmedabad City. He claims to have expressed a view that the taking out of the funeral procession of the victims in the respective areas would lead to major communal violence in Ahmedabad City and other communally sensitive areas across the State
- Bhatt further stated that DGP and CP, Ahmedabad City tried to impress upon the Chief Minister that the bandh call given by VHP on 28-02-2002, which was supported by the ruling party BJP was not a good idea, as far as the Law & Order situation of the State was concerned but the Chief Minister did not seem to be convinced by their arguments and stated that the incident like burning of kar-sevaks at Godhra could not be tolerated.
Reasons provided by SIT to dismiss Bhatt’s charges as false and malafide:
- All the participants of the said meeting have categorically stated that Sanjiv Bhatt did not attend the said meeting neither his seniority nor his job profile narrated his presence in a Chief Ministerial meeting. Therefore there was no question of his opposing the bringing of dead bodies.
- K. Chakravarthi, has stated that he had gone to studios of Doordarshan, Ahmedabad City on 27-02-2002 late in the evening, for the telecast of an appeal to the general public to maintain communal harmony and peace, when he received a message from State Control Room that CM had called for a meeting at his residence at Gandhinagar around 22:30 hrs. He has stated that he straight away went to CM’s residence at Gandhinagar and reached there a little earlier and waited as CM had not arrived from Godhra by that time.
- The bodies of Godhra victims were brought in the dead of night under police escort because the relatives of the dead lived in or around Ahmedabad. They were taken to Sola hospital on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, instead of the Civil Hospital in the city centre in order to avoid commotion. These bodies reached Ahmedabad a little before 4 a.m.
- P.C Pande, the then CP, Ahmedabad City has stated that the sum and substance of the meeting was that the dead bodies were being brought to Ahmedabad City with a view to facilitate the relatives of the deceased to identify and claim the same. He also stated that on 27-02-2002, he did not know that the bandh was supported by the BJP and came to know about it only on 28-02-2002, through the newspaper reports.
- K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP has stated that the decision of the Govt. to bring the dead bodies of Godhra victims at Ahmedabad City was not opposed by anyone on the ground that a large number of victims belonged to Ahmedabad and nearby places, which were easily approachable from Ahmedabad.
- In response to Sanjiv Bhatt’s contention that both DGP and CP, Ahmedabad City had tried to impress upon the Chief Minister that the bandh call given by the VHP on 28-02-2002, which was supported by the ruling party BJP was not a good idea as far as the Law & Order situation of the State was concerned and that the Chief Minister was not convinced by their arguments. K. Chakravarthi, the then DGP has stated that in the night of 27-02-2002, he did not know that the bandh call given by the VHP was supported by the ruling party BJP and as such there was no question of any such opposition by him.
[The following facts also debunk Bhatt’s charge that bodies of Godhra victims were brought to Ahmedabad with the purpose of provoking communal violence. Civil Surgeon Sola Hospital certified that dead bodies of 54 persons were received in Sola hospital around 3.30 a.m on 28th. Since the post mortem had already been conducted at Godhra Hosiptal, no post mortem was conducted on 28th morning.
According to a senior official who was involved in post Godhra management:
- The 54 bodies had to be brought to Ahmedabad because the families of these persons lived in and around Ahmedabad city. Bodies were brought in a vehicle escorted by police personnel who were replaced thrice during the journey of 130 km.
- If the families off all these 54 had gone to Godhra to claim the dead bodies, there was likelihood of more tension and clashes since Godhra has a history of being volatile with a communally charged Muslim population. After the burning of Sabarmati Express coaches large numbers of people kept pouring in to enquire about the injured and dead. If the relatives of all the 54 persons came to Godhra in a surcharged atmospher, it could have created a serious problem.
- Given the tense situation in the state, curfew had already been imposed in certain areas of Gujarat. This would have created added trouble for these families if they had to travel to Godhra to claim dead bodies.
- The decision to bring the dead bodies of the people of Ahmedabad region was not taken by CM alone as alleged by Bhatt and Shreekumar. It was taken unanimously by all officials present at Godhra in consultation with Godhra District Magistrate, Jayanti Ravi who in her deposition before the SIT strongly denied the charge by Shreekumar that she was opposed to sending of those bodies to Ahmadabad.
- Contrary to allegations by Teesta’s organisation, no big mob had collected at 4 am outside Sola hospital However, several state government officials were present with their support staff to receive the dead bodies
- 35 bodies were handed over to relatives who came and identified their family members. Relatives and security forces accomapnied the dead bodies to crematorium. In some places several hundred onlookers gathered but there was no untoward incident because of transportation and cremation of these bodies in Ahmedabad.
- It is a general practice in Gujarat to hand over unclaimed, unknown bodies to local NGOs or social organizations. Since there were no family claimants, 19 bodies had to be handed over to VHP for the last rites since they were part of the VHP contingent on the ill fated Sabarmati Express. A tehsildar accompanied the dead bodies along with police escort. These 19 unclaimed bodies were given mass cremation behind Sola Hospital at Gota Gaon in the presence of RMO and other officers of Sola Hospital. Municipal Councillor Jagdish Patel, was also present during this cremation along with a contingent of police. ]
Continued in the next page.
Bhatt’s Attempts at Marshalling False Witnesses
- Sanjiv Bhatt, on his own and without being summoned came to the office of the SIT on 25-03-2011, i.e. two days after the recording of his statement, along with one constable named K. D. Panth and requested that his (Bhatt’s) further statement should be recorded by SIT. In his further statement, Sanjiv Bhatt mentioned the names of two Assistant Intelligence Officers (AIOs) namely, Shailesh Raval and K. D. Panth, who used to accompany him to most of the meetings.
- He further stated that subsequent to the recording of his statement by SIT, he has now been able to recollect that K. D. Panth had followed him to CM’s residence with the files in his staff car from DGP’s office, whereas he had accompanied DGP K. Chakravarthi in the latter’s staff car. He added that K. D. Panth returned with him in his car to Police Bhavan and remained in the office till late in the night and attended to urgent official work.
- Sanjiv Bhatt told SIT that in 2002 Tarachand Yadav was his driver who is presently attached to V. K. Mall, Joint Director, Gujarat Police Academy, Karai, Gandhinagar. Sanjiv Bhatt also disclosed that as DCI (Security), he was using the Govt. mobile phone no. 98250 49398.
- After Sanjiv Bhatt’s further statement was recorded at his own request on 25-03-2011, he insisted that K. D. Panth, who was accompanying him and was waiting outside, should also be examined in his presence.
- [The SIT team found this insistence an indication of Bhatt’s dubious intent and refused to succumb to this pressure.]Bhatt was informed that K. D. Panth would be called on a date convenient to the IO and examined independently and not in Bhatt’s presence. Accordingly, Panth was informed on 04-04-2011, to attend SIT office on 05-04-2011, for his examination.
K.D. Panth in his examination has stated that:
- He was on casual leave on 27-02-2002 and has denied that he followed Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) to CM’s residence on 27-02-2002 night.
- However, he has stated that Sanjiv Bhatt had called him to his residence on 24-03-2011 night and informed that he was going to make a statement before the SIT that he (K. D. Panth) had gone to attend a meeting at CM’s residence on 27-02-2002 night, and that he had been called at State IB office and to be ready with the files for the said meeting. Sanjiv Bhatt further informed Panth that he should accompany him to SIT office on 25-03-2011, and make a statement about the said meeting.
- During his examination, Panth further stated that Sanjiv Bhatt called him at his residence on 04-04-2011 at 2030 hrs, where he told him about the statement Bhatt had made before the SIT naming Panth as the man who accompanied him to the CM’s residence. Sanjiv Bhatt asked Panth to make a statement accordingly.
- This conduct of Sanjiv Bhatt in arranging, prompting and controlling the witness to corroborate his statement is highly suspicious and undesirable.
Tushar Mehta: Additional Advocate General of Gujarat also filed a criminal complaint under the Information Technology Act against Sanjiv Bhatt for hacking his e-mail account and stealing his documents in 2010. Once again, Bhatt got s stay order from the Supreme Court. So this too can’t proceed]
- Sanjiv Bhatt also contacted Shailesh Raval on 28-03-2011/ 29-03-2011, over mobile phone no. 9825688223 of N. J. Chauhan, a clerk in CM’s Security and informed him that he would be called by SIT for his examination.
- Sanjiv Bhatt also asked Shailesh Raval that he had worked with him in Security Branch for a long time and was aware that he (Sanjiv Bhatt) used to attend meetings, to which Raval reacted by saying that he had accompanied him in Border Security Nodal Committee meetings, which used to deal with the Border Security only. Raval told Sanjiv Bhatt that he never worked in the Communal Branch and was not aware of anything about it. Sanjiv Bhatt thereafter disconnected the phone.
- Shailesh Raval, PI later sent a complaint in writing to the Chairman, SIT that he feared reprisal from Sanjiv Bhatt as he had refused to support the false claims of Bhatt. This is yet another attempt on the part of Sanjiv Bhatt to tutor a witness to depose in a particular manner so as to support the statement made by him, which further makes his claim of having attended the meeting at CM’s residence on 27-02-2002, false.
Tarachand B. Yadav, driver constable in SRP Group-XII:
- He had been dismissed from service on the charge of getting employment in Gujarat Police on the basis of false and forged certificate. Yadav stated that he used to drive the staff car allotted to Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) during February-March, 2002. However, he does not remember the registration number of the staff car.
- Yadav could not remember the name of Personal Security Officer of Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security). However, he has stated that he recollects that Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) had gone to CM’s residence in a three star car with either DGP or some ADGP from Police Bhavan and that he had followed him in his staff car, in which K.D. Panth, the then AIO, State IB sat with some files.
- He has also stated that Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) returned after about 25 minutes and he took him to Police Bhavan, where he worked till midnight i.e. 0030 hrs and then drove him back to his residence at Ahmedabad. Yadav could not say as to whether Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) accompanied DGP or some ADGP rank officer.
- He has denied knowledge, as to whether Sanjiv Bhatt went inside CM’s office to attend the meeting or not, as he was waiting outside.
- Yadav has also stated that on 28-02-2002, Sanjiv Bhatt reached Police Bhavan at about 0900 hrs and worked in his office and did not go out to attend any meeting at CM’s house. He added that on 28-02-2002, he started from Gandhinagar in the evening and dropped Sanjiv Bhatt at his residence at about 1900 hrs. However, he could not recollect the details of the various events of 1st, 2nd& 3rd March, 2002 due to passage of time.
- The version of Tarachand B. Yadav is unreliable due to his background. He has been dismissed from service due to his own misconduct.
- Moreover, he has admitted to have gone to the residence of Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) on 17-04-2011 afternoon, for getting a briefing before making a statement in SIT. The call details of his mobile phone clearly show that he was in touch with Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCI (Security) during April, 2011.
- Even when he was being interrogated in SIT office, Sanjiv Bhatt was repeatedly contacting him over his mobile phone, to which he was not allowed to respond.
- In addition, the version of Tarachand Yadav about the movements of Sanjiv Bhatt on 28-02-2002, are proved to be false in as much as Sanjiv Bhatt did not come to Gandhinagar at 0900 hrs, as the call detail records of his official mobile phone show his location at Ahmedabad City till 1057 hrs.
- Significantly, K. D. Panth, the then AIO, State IB, in his examination by SIT has denied that he (Panth) had accompanied Sanjiv Bhatt to CM’s residence on 27-02-2002.
- Tarachand Yadav further contradicts the version of Sanjiv Bhatt, who claims to have attended a meeting on 28-02-2002 at 1030 hrs, at CM’s residence.
- The overall impression left after his examination is that Sanjiv Bhatt has introduced him as a false witness with a view to corroborate his own version about having attended a meeting at CM’s residence on 27-02-2002 night, whereas in fact Tarachand Yadav does not recollect anything about the events of 27-02-2002 onwards.
- Moreover, he is a motivated witness, who has got an axe to grind against the Govt. on account of his dismissal from service. In view of this no reliance can be placed upon his evidence.
- During further investigation, PSOs of the then DGP K. Chakravarthi were examined. PSI Dilip Jivaram Ahir and Head Constable Dharampal Jagaram Yadav stated that they had never seen Sanjiv Bhatt sitting in the vehicle along with DGP.
Hatching Conspiracies with Congress leaders, NGO’s and journalists: On the Conduct of Sanjiv Bhatt during the SIT Investigation and the Supreme Court Case
A set of emails exchanged between Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG, Gujarat Police and certain individuals during April & May 2011 were provided to the SIT team by Gujarat govt. These emails show that during the course of an inquiry instituted against Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS by DG (Civil Defence), Gujarat regarding misuse of official resources, some revelations have been made having direct bearing on the cases being monitored by SIT.
After scrutinizing the emails, SIT records the following salient facts (page no. 312-315):
- That top Congress Leaders of Gujarat namely Shaktisinh Gohil, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly and Arjun Modhvadia, President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee are in constant touch with Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG. They are providing him “packages”, certain materials and also legal assistance. Further, on 28-04-2011, Sanjiv Bhatt exchanged mails with Shaktisinh Gohil and the former gave points for arguments in Supreme Court matter, allegations to be made against the members of SIT and to establish that the burning of a coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra Railway Station was not a conspiracy. From the emails, it appears that Sanjiv Bhatt was holding personal meetings with senior Congress leaders as well. In one of the emails, he even mentions that he was “under exploited” by the lawyer representing the Congress before Nanavati Commission of Inquiry.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt had been persuading various NGOs and other interested groups to influence the Amicus Curiae and the Supreme Court of India by using “Media Card” and “Pressure Groups”.
- Sanjiv Bhatt had been exchanging emails with one Nasir Chippa and in the email dated 11-05-2011 Bhatt has stated that he (Nasir Chippa) should try to mobilize support/ pressure-groups in Delhi to influence Amicus Curiae Raju Ramchandran in a very subtle manner. In another email dated 18-05-2011, Sanjiv Bhatt had requested Nasir Chippa to influence Home Minister P. Chidambaram through pressure groups in the U.S. It is believed that Nasir Chippa has strong U.S. connections and his family stays there.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt arranged an appeal from M. Hasan Jowher, who runs a so called NGO titled SPRAT (Society for Promoting Rationality) to Amicus Curiae on 13-05-2011, to call Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS, Rajnish Rai, IPS, Satish Verma, IPS, Kuldeep Sharma, IPS and Rahul Sharma, IPS (all police officers of Gujarat) to tender their version of the Gujarat story. It may be mentioned here that the draft for the said appeal was sent by Sanjiv Bhatt himself to Jowher. Further, a copy of this mail was circulated by Sanjiv Bhatt to Shabnam Hasmi, Teesta Setalwad, Himanshu Thakker, journalist, Leo Saldana, Journalist and Nasir Chippa to encourage the prominent persons/organisation to write to Amicus Curiae on similar lines so as to pressurize him.
- In emails exchanged on June 1, 2011 between Sanjiv Bhatt and M. H. Jowher, it was proposed that a PIL may be filed through a lawyer named K. Vakharia (a Sr. Advocate and Chairman of Legal Cell of Congress Party in Gujarat) in the Gujarat High Court for providing security to Sanjiv Bhatt. It was also proposed that another complaint may be filed with the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad City against Narendra Modi & others for his alleged involvement in 2002 riots which would be taken to appropriate judicial forums in due course.
- That Teesta Setalwad, her lawyer Mihir Desai and Manoj Mitta, senior editor in TheTimes of India were in constant touch with Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS and were instrumental in arranging/ drafting of the affidavit for filing the same in Supreme Court. Vide email dated 10-04-2011; Bhatt solicited “Co-ordinates” from Teesta Setalwad, who had also arranged for a meeting with her lawyer Mihir Desai at Ellisbridge Gymkhana, Ahmedabad. Sanjiv Bhatt sent the first draft of his proposed affidavit to Manoj Mitta on 13-04-2011, after meeting Mihir Desai, Advocate and invited his suggestions. Manoj Mitta advised Sanjiv Bhatt to incorporate a few more paragraphs drafted by him which were incorporated by Sanjiv Bhatt in his final affidavit sent to Supreme Court of India as suggested by Mitta.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt was instrumental in arranging an affidavit of one Shubhranshu Chaudhary, a journalist, to corroborate his claim that he had gone to attend a meeting called by the Chief Minister at his residence in the night of 27-02-2002. Significantly, Bhatt had sent his mobile phone details of 27-02-2002 to Shubhranshu Chaudhary and had also suggested the probable timings of his meeting to Shubhranshu Chaudhary on 15-05-2011. Simultaneously, these details were sent to Teesta Setalwad on 16-05-2011, for drafting the document, presumably the affidavit to be filed by Shubhranshu Chaudhary. Sanjiv Bhatt sent an email to Shubhranshu Chaudhary that the said affidavit could be leaked out to the print media which would force the Amicus Curiae and Supreme Court to take notice of the same. Sanjiv Bhatt also sent another email to Shubhranshu Chaudhary, in which he has stated that they should play the “Media Trick” so that affidavit is taken seriously by Amicus Curiae and the Supreme Court.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt had been exchanging emails with one Leo Saldana, a Narmada Bachao Andolan activist, with a view to mobilize public opinion in their favour. On 01-05-2011 Sanjiv Bhatt had sent an email to the latter to the effect that what they needed to do at this stage was to create a situation, where it would be difficult for three judges Supreme Court Bench to disregard the “shortcomings of SIT under stewardship of Mr. Raghavan” and that the pressure groups and opinion makers in Delhi could be of great help in forwarding the cause. He has further stated in the mail that he was hopeful that things would start turning around from the next hearing, if proper pressure was maintained at the national level.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt was trying to contact K. S. Subramanian, a retired IPS officer, through Nasir Chippa to make an affidavit supporting his stand with a view to convince the Amicus Curiae and through him the Supreme Court of India that K. Chakravarthi, former DGP of Gujarat, was a liar.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt had been taking advice of Teesta Setalwad in connection with his evidence before Nanavati Commission of Inquiry. He had also been in touch with various journalists, NGOs and had been forwarding his representations, applications and other documents through email, whereas on the other side he had been claiming privilege that being an Intelligence Officer he was duty bound not to disclose anything unless, he was legally compelled to do so.
- That Sanjiv Bhatt had been maintaining a close contact with Rahul Sharma, DIG of Gujarat Police and had been getting his mobile phone calls analysed with a view to ascertain his own movements of 27-02-2002. This shows that Bhatt does not recollect his movements on that day. He has also been trying to ascertain the movements of Late Haren Pandya, the then Minister of State for Revenue on 27-02-2002, with a view to introduce him as a participant of the meeting of 27-02-2002 held at CM’s residence, but could not do so, as Rahul Sharma had informed him after the analysis that there was absolutely no question of Late Haren Pandya being at Gandhinagar on 27-02-2002 night.
- From the study of emails, it appears that certain vested interests including Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs and some political leaders were trying to use Supreme Court/ SIT as a forum for settling their scores. This would also go to show that Sanjiv Bhatt had been colluding with the persons with vested interests to see that some kind of charge-sheet is filed against Narendra Modi and others.
First published in Manushi.
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