Nanavati Commission summons IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

Ahmedabad: Nanavati Commission, probing post-Godhra communal riots, has summoned senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who filed an affidavit in Supreme Court implicating Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on May 16, sources said.

Sources said that the Commission has asked Bhatt to appear before it on May 16 after an application filed before it by Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM), an NGO representing some of the riot victims.

The NGO yesterday approached the panel requesting it to probe role and conduct of chief minister Narendra Modi during the post-Godhra events, in the wake of the affidavit filed by Bhatt.

The petition moved by convener Amrish Patel on behalf of JSM said that deposition of Bhatt "will be very important and material evidence" on deciding the role and conduct of the chief minister and others during events that unfolded post-Godhra.

Bhatt, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, alleged Modi of instructing state officials to allow Hindus "to vent out their anger" during the clashes and wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson".

JSM counsel Mukul Sinha had said that it has now become necessary to examine Bhatt in the wake of revelations made by him in the affidavit.

He further said that the state government had itself amended the terms of reference of the Nanavati Commission in June 2002 for enquiring into the role of chief minister and others with regard to post-Godhra riots.

Justice G T Nanavati and Justice Akshay Mehta Commission has already submitted a part of their report dealing with Godhra train carnage and are in the final stages of submitting their report on post-Godhra riots.