Shah tried to influence me: IPS officer Bhatt

Shah tried to influence me: IPS officer Bhatt Ahmedabad: IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt on Monday alleged that former Gujarat minister Amit Shah had tried to influence his deposition before SIT about Chief Minister Narendra Modi's meeting after the Godhra train attack where he reportedly said that Hindus be allowed to 'vent their anger.'

Bhatt made the allegation when he appeared before the Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

Bhatt, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court last month, had claimed that he was present in the meeting called by Modi on the night of February 27, 2002. He had further alleged that Modi in that meeting had instructed officers to allow Hindus "to vent out their anger" during the clashes and he wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson".

He is being cross-examined by the two-member commission comprising Justice (Retd) G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta.

During his cross-examination by Central Relief Committee advocate B M Mangukia, Bhatt was asked if somebody from the Gujarat government tried to brief him before he was to appear before Special Investigation Team (SIT), appointed by Supreme Court in November 2009.

To which, Bhatt said he was approached by the then Minister of State for Home Amit Shah after he was summoned by the SIT.

Mangukia then asked "Did Shah ask you not to speak the truth about the meeting of February 27, 2002,?" to which Bhatt replied in the affirmative.

However, Bhatt replied in the negative when the lawyer asked whether Shah threatened him.