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

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Mayawati's 'success' depends on how BSP taps new crop of young Amdekarite leaders

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Whatever be the election results in Uttar Pradesh on March 10, it is extremely important to understand: that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its leader Mayawati have the potential to rise like a Phoenix any time.

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.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

India's actual Covid death rate about 2500 per million, third highest in world: Study

By Rajiv Shah  There is now well-researched proof, if it can be called that, indicating that the Government of India may have fudged data to show lower Covid death rate. A new paper, published in “Science”, has said that while officially the Government of India’s Covid-related death estimates as of January 1, 2022 – 345 per million population – are one-seventh of the US death rate, the actual analysis of crude death rate in India suggests, this may be a gross underestimation. 

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Haridwar call for genocide direct result of Modi 'tolerating' Islamophobic policies

By Our Representative  A high-level briefing organised in Washington DC, in which as many as 17 human rights and interfaith organizations -- including Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch and Hindus for Human Rights, apart from several persons in their individual capacity -- participated, has come down heavily on what they called "Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims."