Gujarat ex-DGP refutes Sanjiv Bhatts claim

Ahmedabad: Gujarat’s Director General of Police at the time of the post-Godhra riots said IPS officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt, who has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court implicating Narendra Modi in the clashes, was not present at the meeting with the Chief Minister held on February 27, 2002.

“He (Mr. Bhatt) was not present at that particular meeting held with the Chief Minister and other high-ranking officials. I have told this to the Special Investigation Team (probing the riots) during my deposition,” K. Chakrabarthi, now retired, told PTI over phone on Saturday from Mumbai.

“Now, it is up to the SIT and the Supreme Court to decide on it,” he said.

Mr. Bhatt, in his affidavit, has said he attended the said meeting (on the day of the Godhra train burning incident) as he was asked to accompany the DGP by the State control room.

Mr. Bhatt, posted as DCP at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) during the 2002 riots, said he had attended the meeting along with the DGP.

In his testimony before the SIT, Mr. Modi had also said Mr. Bhatt, being a junior officer at that time, was not present at the February 27 meeting.

In the affidavit, Mr. Bhatt has alleged the Gujarat Chief Minister, at the meeting, had instructed officers to allow Hindus “to vent out their anger” during the clashes and he wanted Muslims to be “taught a lesson.”

Mr. Bhatt, in the affidavit filed on April 14, has also accused the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, headed by former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan, of a “cover-up” operation.

The SIT is also probing Mr. Modi’s alleged role in the communal riots in which over 1,000 people were killed. The riots followed the Sabarmati Express carnage in which Hindu passengers died.