As the countdown to the Judgemnet Day of Zakia Jafri Case begins Hillele.org brings to you some of the important reports on Gujrat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his role in Gujrat riots.
The Indian EXPRESS
Ahmedabad: 17-05-11, Daily Eng. News.
“Told Modi Gulbarg attack was coming, he kept mum”
IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt deposes before Nanavati-Mehta Commission, says he also attended two other meetings CM held on Feb 28, 2002
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
Ahmedabad, May 16
In his deposition before the G T Nanavati-Akshay Mehta Commission probing the 2002 Gujarat riots, IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt on Monday said the state Intelligence Bureau was passing on real-time inputs about the imminent threat to residents of Gulberg Society at Meghaninagar in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002 to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, adding he had personally apprised the CM about the need to take immediate measures.
Bhatt was a DCP with the IB at the time of riots in 2002.
The officer, now a DIG, said Modi did not give any instructions to protect Gulberg Society and its residents. The attack on Gulberg Society had left 69 dead, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri.
During his deposition, Bhatt, who was denied access to records he had sought by the Gujarat Police as well as the SC-appointed SIT, also moved an application seeking the Commission to direct the DGP and the SIT to provide those documents. The Commission has kept his application pending, saying it would decide on it when the need arises.
Bhatt was summoned by the Commission as a witness after he filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that Modi had called a meeting on the night of February 27 at his official residence and instructed top officials to let “Hindus vent their anger against Muslims”.
Bhatt told the Commission on Monday that Modi had also convened two more meetings on February 28, 2002 – one in the forenoon and the other around 2 pm – in which he was present. He said he had personally informed Modi about the imminent threats faced by residents of Gulberg Society and the overall inaction of the police against the rioting mobs. He also said he had requested Modi to take appropriate measures.
To a query by advocate Mukul Sinha if late Chief Minister Amarsinh Chaudhary was present at the meeting, Bhatt said he wasn’t. But, when he (Bhatt) came out, he found Chaudhary standing outside. Chaudhary, Bhatt said, asked him to do something to protect the Gulberg Society. Chaudhary had filed an affidavit at the Commission stating he along with one other person had gone to meet Modi to urge him to do something to protect Gulberg Society.
Bhatt also told the Commission that in the February 27, 2002 meeting, the then DGP A K Chakravarthy and then Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P C Pande were against bringing in the bodies of victims of Godhra train burning incident to Ahmedabad and had tried to impress upon Modi that such a decision would create a serious law and order situation in Ahmedabad. Bhatt said Pande had even termed bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad as a “tinderbox” idea.
Bhatt also said that the duo tried to impress upon Modi against supporting VHP’s bandh call on February 28, arguing that there was a difference between the BJP as a party supporting a bandh call and the BJP that ran the government.
Being a DCP (intelligence), Bhatt stated, he had also told Modi in the February 27 meeting about largescale mobilisation of Sangh Parivar cadres across the state. Bhatt added that the meeting was also attended by the then in-charge chief secretary Suvarnakanta Verma, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ashok Narayan, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P C Pande, Home Secretary K Nityanand, Secretary to the CM Anil Mukim and Principal Secretary to the CM P K Mishra.
Initially, Bhatt was examined by Justice (retired) G T Nanavati who asked him why he did not come before the Commission till date in spite of a public notification asking people to assist the inquiry. Bhatt replied that he was an intelligence officer and was constrained under the oath of secrecy not to reveal anything unless he had a legal obligation to do so.
In his affidavit before the SC, Bhatt has stated that he has given original floppy discs containing the entire cell phone/cell site records of Godhra town for February 26 & 27, 2002 and original print-outs of important call records of certain high-ranking functionaries of the state government for February 27 & 28, 2002 to the SIT. The Commission asked Bhatt about its details, but he chose not to reveal anything, instead requesting the Commission to direct the SIT to provide those documents to it. Referring to those documents, Bhatt said, “Go through these documents and truth will reveal itself.”
Counsel for the state government, S B Vakil, has started Bhatt’s cross-examination, which will continue next week on May 23.