Arrest an attempt to intimidate Bhatt, says lawyer

The lawyer of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt said that the arrest of his client earlier in the day was an attempt to intimidate a witness.

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2011, 22:40 PM IST

Ahmedabad: The lawyer of suspended IPS
officer Sanjeev Bhatt on Friday said that the arrest of his client
earlier in the day was an attempt to intimidate a witness who
had deposed against the Narendera Modi government.

"This is vindictive action of the Gujarat government
because Bhatt has made startling revelations about the Chief
Minister`s meeting of February 27, 2002 in the affidavit filed
in the Supreme Court," Bhatt`s lawyer, advocate I H Syed,
said.
"This is an attempt to intimidate my client, who has
deposed against government`s action during the post-Godhra
riots before the Nanavati Commission and the SC-appointed
special investigation team (SIT)," he said.

Syed said he was going to apply for bail. "We have bail
application ready which will be placed before the magistrate
when Bhatt is produced."

Syed said Bhatt has been charged under IPC sections 341
(causing wrongful restraint), 342 (causing wrongful
confinement), 195 (giving fabricated evidence) and 189 (threat
of injury to public servant).

Bhatt was arrested in connection with the FIR filed
against him by police constable K D Pant for allegedly
threatening him and making him sign a false affidavit about
the meeting called by Chief Minister Modi on February 27,
2002.

Syed said Bhatt`s arrest was a planned move by the
government, as it came a day before the 10-day vacation of the
Supreme Court, where Bhatt`s petition seeking CBI inquiry into
this case was pending.
"This was done so that he could not get relief from the
Apex Court. The government has not even answered the notice of
the Supreme Court in this case," he said.

The arrest also comes within a few days of Bhatt filing
an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court, alleging that Chief
Minister Narendra Modi and former minister of state, Home,
Amit Shah had tried to pressurise him to destroy crucial
evidence related to the 2003 Haren Pandya murder case.

Syed said that Tarachand Yadav, one of the two key
witnesses to the fact that Bhatt had attended the meeting
called by Modi of February 27, 2002 -- after Godhra train
burning incident -- had not changed his statement.

"Tarachand (driver) and Pant, both had accompanied
Bhatt to the meeting. They both sat outside while Bhatt
attended the meeting," he said.

"Tarachand has not changed his stand, but Pant has been
cleverly picked up by the government and made to change his
statement and file FIR against Bhatt," Syed claimed.

PTI