Sanjeev Bhatt alleges harassment by Modi govt

Suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt told the Gujarat High Court he was being "harassed" by the State Government.

Ahmedabad: Suspended IPS officer Sanjeev
Bhatt, seeking relief in a 1990 case related to alleged police
atrocity, on Thursday told the Gujarat High Court he was being
"harassed" by the State Government as he has made allegations
against Chief Minister Narendra Modi regarding the 2002 riots.

Bhatt has challenged the Government`s decision to
withdraw a plea seeking revision of a Jamnagar Sessions
Court`s order initiating criminal proceedings against him and
six others in connection with the two-decade-old police
atrocity case were one person had died in Jamnagar.
Bhatt`s advocate I H Syed today submitted before
Justice R H Shukla that the State`s BJP Government has been
changing its stand in the case from time to time.

Syed said the withdrawal of revision application, 15
years after it was filed, seeking review of the court order
initiating criminal proceedings against Bhatt and others, was
intended to "harass" the IPS officer, who has alleged Modi`s
complicity in the post-Godhra communal violence.

Since Bhatt was an important witness in the Supreme
Court in 2002 riot cases and had accused Modi of misusing
state machinery during the violence in an affidavit in the SC,
the Government had decided to withdraw its plea, he said.

Syed pointed out that while filing the application in
1996, the state had defended the policemen saying they had
acted in line of duty in order to control communal riots.

Syed further contended that while withdrawing the
revision application, the Government did not provide any
reasons for its change of stand.
Syed contended that there were "serious legal infirmities"
in the Jamnagar Court`s order permitting the Government to
withdraw its revision application.

The original complainant in the case had on June 24 filed
an application in the Jamnagar Court asking the Government to
withdraw the application. And only after that the state
decided to withdraw the 15-year-old plea, he said.

Bhatt`s counsel pointed out, from records, that in 2005
the Government decided to withdraw the revision plea and
passed a resolution (in Home department) in this regard. But
the resolution was cancelled after a few months.

According to Syed, the BJP Government`s stand again
changed in July this year after Bhatt filed an affidavit in
the Supreme Court (alleging Modi`s role in riots) and deposed
before the Nanavati Commission, probing the Godhra train
carnage and the subsequent communal violence in Gujarat.

He submitted a chronology of events that showed how, over
15 years, the State first defended Bhatt and other policemen
accused in the case and then changed its stand.

Syed demanded that the Government`s revision plea be
restored and framing of charge against Bhatt be deferred till
the application was decided upon.

In 1990, Bhatt was posted as DySP in Jamnagar, where he
was in-charge of police bandobast in Jamkhambhliya area where
communal clashes had broken out. It was under his command that
policemen had allegedly beaten up some people, leading to the
death of a man later.

Bhatt was suspended by the Government on August 8 for
misconduct, unauthorised absence from duty, misuse of official
vehicle and not appearing before a departmental inquiry panel.
He has been served a charge sheet with regard to his


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