Bhatt demands post-riot period records again

Ahmedabad: In a fresh letter to the Nanavati Commission which is probing the 2002 Gujarat riots, suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt today again demanded that he be given access to certain records of post-riots period, in order to enable him file a comprehensive affidavit before the panel.

He has also attached copy of a purported State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) alert which had predicted widespread violence as state government decided to bring bodies of Godhra victims to Ahmedabad on February 27, 2002. Since May 2011, Bhatt has been seeking direction from the Commission to the SIB and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is probing some of the riots cases to offer him access to the records.

Bhatt, a Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in-charge of Internal Security in 2002, maintains that some of these documents would throw light on the dubious role of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, other ministers, police officers, etc. These documents include control room records, telephone call details, movement diaries of top police officials and an internal document of SIB, authored by Bhatt and titled `Godhra Incident of 27-02-2002: An Intelligence Analysis`.

Bhatt`s letter also reveals that Commission had last month declined his request, saying it had no power to do so. The decision was conveyed to him by a letter on December 30. In today`s letter, Bhatt has disagreed with the finding, and pointed out that Section 4 of Commissions of Inquiry Act empowers the panel to require production of any document.

Bhatt has also submitted copy of an alert message issued by SIB to Ahmedabad Police Commissioner immediately after the meeting chaired by Modi on February 27, 2002, where Modi, as alleged by Bhatt, asked police to let “Hindus vent their anger” in the aftermath of Godhra incident. The purported SIB message of February 27 stated that after this meeting, it had become clear that state government wished to go ahead with bringing bodies of victims of Godhra train fire to Ahmedabad by road.

The message cautioned about massive mobilisation of VHP and Bajrang Dal cadres ahead of the bandh on February 28. It also warned of widespread communal violence and requested preventive action from all police stations in Ahmedabad. During his deposition before the Commission last May, Bhatt had said that in the meeting held by Modi, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P C Pande and DGP K Chakrabarthy had advised against bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad, as it could inflame communal passions.