My prison stay was sabbatical: Sanjiv Bhatt

Ahmedabad: Suspended Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to implicate Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots and released on bail today, described his stay in the prison as "sabbatical" and said the rule of law has prevailed.

"I am happy that the rule of law has prevailed. It is a victory for the victims of the state sponsored riots…My stay in jail was like a sabbatical…I am still resolute for my cause…The cause is much bigger than me," he said outside Sabarmati central jail after his release.

On alleged police misbehaviour with him while being taken from police lock-up to city crime branch lock-up on September 30 after his arrest, Bhatt said, "I will not speak about it, till the right time comes before the appropriate forum."He said he was very thankful to Gujarat IPS officers`s association and his family for extending their support.

Bhatt received a very emotional welcome at his residence in Memnagar by wife Shweta Bhatt and two children and other family members and relatives.  "I have become stronger after being inside jail. The fight will now go to the next level," Bhatt told media persons outside his residence. He said he has no complaints against anyone with regard to treatment in jail.

When asked if he wanted all the cases pending against him to be transfered outside Gujarat, Bhatt said he would like the present case of K D Pant in which he was arrested to be investigated properly by an agency outside Gujarat. "If the case of Pant is investigated properly, the truth about how the state was subverting the entire machinery to try an coerce witness will come out," he said. Bhatt said, "The entire thrust is to ensure that justice be delivered to 2002 riot affected who were victims of the state-sponsored violence."

On whether he fears that the government would frame him in any other cases pending against him, Bhatt said, "I do not fear them or have any apprehension. I will do my work and they will do theirs. I am not going to leave them and they would also not leave me."

He alleged the search in his house after his arrest was done to destroy important evidence, which he claimed he had against chief minister Narendra Modi and the state government. "They have destroyed evidence last year when they organised theft in my mother`s house and burnt some important documents," Bhatt alleged. On visit of some IPS officers to his house after his arrest, Bhatt said it is good that IPS fraternity was uniting on some issue.

"It is a big thing that IPS fraternity was uniting…its a big achievement," he said. Meanwhile Bhatt`s wife Shweta said, "We had faith on judiciary and now it has been proved right…I thank all those who have stood by us."