Skip to main content

Appealing for support, friends, family say ex-IPS Sanjiv Bhatt framed as he deposed on Modi role in 2002 riots

Counterview Desk
Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested for a 1996 case a little more than a week ago, has been brought from Palanpur to Gandhinagar, where he is “expected to be kept in police custody till the September 24”, according to his wife, Shweta Bhatt. “This is the 8th night, Sanjiv won’t be spending at home with his family”, she said in a Facebook post, even as thanking the support she claims to be getting from different quarters, including the Indians Fight For Justice (IFFJ) and friends.
Bhatt’s family believes that he has been framed because he spoke truth about the alleged complicity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots. A detailed appeal to support Bhatt by in all possible way says that as an IPS officer he had “a conscience and a spine”.
Reproduced below are excerpts from the appeal by IFFJ: 
Sanjiv Bhatt is an alumnus of Hill Grange High School Mumbai, St Xavier’s High School (Loyola Hall), Ahmedabad, and Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay. He cleared the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Examination with a very high rank and opted for the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1987/88 at the age of 23 and was allotted to the Gujarat cadre.
In 2002, he was posted as the Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Internal Security at the State Intelligence Bureau Gandhinagar, when the Godhra incident took place. With the possibility of retaliatory violence looming across the state, the police was gearing up to take control of the state’s law and order.
But things were made to play out differently. Over the next one week, more than a 1,000 people, mostly from one community, were murdered in cold blood across the state. While the world was shocked at the state police’s inability to control the predictable violence, most of the police officers chose to keep quiet and toe the line of the government of the day.
Sanjiv Bhatt was an exception. He, in keeping with his own track record, stood his ground against the flow and might of a complicit government and a pliant administrative machinery. He fearlessly carried out his duty by sending out timely advisories and reports from the Intelligence Bureau, ensuring effective intervention and action by the police at many places across the state of Gujarat.
His contemporaneous reports and advisories have been presented before various commissions and courts as evidence of state complicity and administrative inaction during the Gujarat Carnage of 2002.
Sanjiv Bhatt was eventually cited as an important witness in the Complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, the widow of slain MP Ehsaan Jafri, in 2006. The refusal of the Gujarat Police to treat this complaint as an FIR was challenged in the Supreme Court of India by Zakia Ehsaan Jafri by way of SLP 1088 of 2008.
Unmindful of the consequences, Sanjiv Bhatt not only deposed before the SIT that was inquiring into the Complaint filed by Mrs. Jafri, but also filed a detailed affidavit in the Supreme Court in order to expose the role of the state administrative machinery in the 2002 carnage; as well as the blatant attempts of the SIT at shielding the powerful accused persons including Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The affidavit filed by Sanjiv Bhatt, before the Supreme court of India, clearly brought out the role of Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, in allegedly asking top police officials to let Hindus vent out their anger against one community. Sadly, the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court of India dismissed his allegations and filed a Closure Report, giving a clean chit to Narendra Modi and other powerful functionaries of the state.
This Closure Report is currently under challenge before the High Court of Gujarat and Sanjiv Bhatt continues to be an important witness to the role and function of the state administration in the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 and the subsequent cover-up machinations.
In addition to his affidavit before the Supreme Court, Sanjiv Bhatt has also extensively deposed on oath before the Justice Nanavati Commission, as well as the National Commission for Minorities. His depositions and affidavits before the Supreme Court, the Justice Nanavati Commission, and the National Commission for Minorities have brought out in great detail, irrefutable evidence of state complicity and administrative inaction during the Gujarat carnage of 2002.
This act of speaking out the truth against some of the most powerful people in the country has since cost Sanjiv Bhatt and his family dearly. He had to face a flurry of concocted charges and was eventually removed from service in 2015, after an ex parte departmental inquiry, on the flimsy ground of “Unauthorised Absence From Duty” for a period when he was actually deposing before the Justice Nanavati Commission of Inquiry. He has been denied his rightful pension and other service benefits despite having served for 27 years in the Indian Police Service.
Recently, the government also withdrew the meagre security cover that was provided to him and his family. Not stopping at this, the BJP-controlled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has demolished a large portion of his house, making it unfit and unusable until major repairs are undertaken. 
In complete disregard of judicial propriety, this demolition was carried out round-the-clock for one full week, despite the fact that his Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, challenging the illegal orders of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation was pending before the Supreme Court of India; thereby rendering the Writ Petition absolutely infructuous even before it could be taken up for hearing by the Supreme Court.
The Writ Petition came up for hearing after the demolition was completed, and was dismissed as it was already rendered otiose by the actuality of the demolition which had already been carried out during the pendency of the Petition.
Sanjiv Bhatt and his family have chosen to remain unbroken in the face of the full might of the state, and continue to face the unabated retribution with their heads held high. As all of us know, he and his family are paying the price for speaking and upholding the truth despite all odds and difficulties.
We, at Indians Fight for Justice (IFFJ), having gone through the affidavits filed before various Commissions and Courts, and also being subjectively satisfied about the veracity of facts contained in this appeal, have decided to unflinchingly support the cause of justice for Sanjiv Bhatt and his family.
Along with the stated laudable objective of expressing our solidarity with Sanjiv Bhatt and his family, we at IFFJ – an apolitical and non-profit group, comprising secular minded and dedicated legal practitioners, as well as other professionals, from diverse fields – wish to eventually avail the services of Sanjiv Bhatt and other such experienced and dedicated professionals to set up a countrywide legal help network that strives to selflessly secure justice for victims of any and all authoritarian repression.

Comments

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canals, work for 13,889 km ha…

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "warmest greetings"…

South Gujarat wastewater carrying pipeline damaged, 'harming' farmlands

The pipeline carrying industrial wastewater to the Gulf of Khambhat from Jhagadia industrial estate in Bharuch district has been found to have damaged for the eighth time over the last one and a half months. The crack, says a local environmental organisation, has occurred at Hansot, endangering agricultural farms.

US Air Force expert smells regional security threat following Chandrayaan mission

Counterview Desk
A United States Air Force expert, writing on India’s Chandrayaan -2 mission, has expressed the apprehension that Indian moon probe’s “failure” won’t stop an Asian space race that “threatens regional security.” Affiliated with the US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Wendy Whitman Cobb, who is Professor of Strategy and Security Studies, believes like other space powers, India may be “seeking to improve its technology”, but advances can “also bring greater security concerns.”
Currently, admits Cobb, “These efforts have been primarily civilian and peaceful in nature.” However, India’s turn toward the military uses of space, so much so that lately it has been developing its own military satellites providing services such as remote sensing, tracking and communications “with greater frequency” has begun to “concern” the neighbours.
In her disclosure statement to an article published in the e-journal “The Conversation” Cobb, however, states that whatever…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are about 180 units in in the to…