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

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.