Ahmedabad, Apr 23: Gujarat's Director General of Police at the time of post-Godhra riots today said IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court implicating Narendra Modi in the communal clashes, was not present in the meeting with the Chief Minister held on February 27, 2002.
“He (Sanjiv Bhatt) was not present in that particular meeting held with the Chief Minister and other high-ranking officials. I have told this to the Special Investigation Team (probing the riots) during my deposition,” K Chakrabarthi, now retired, told PTI over phone from Mumbai. “Now, it is up to the SIT and Supreme Court to decide on it,” he said.
Bhatt, in his affidavit, has said he attended the said meeting (on the day of Godhra train burning incident) as he was asked to accompany the DGP by the state control room. Bhatt, posted as DCP at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) during the 2002 riots, said he had attended the meeting along with the DGP.
In his testimony before the SIT, Modi had also said Bhatt, being a junior officer at that time, was not present in the February 27 meeting.
In the affidavit, Bhatt has alleged the Gujarat Chief Minister, at the meeting, had instructed officers to allow Hindus “to vent out their anger” during the clashes and he wanted Muslims to be “taught a lesson.” Bhatt, in the affidavit filed on April 14, has also accused the apex court-appointed SIT, headed by former CBI Director R K Raghavan, of a “cover-up” operation.
The SIT is also probing Modi's alleged role in the communal riots in which over 1,000 people were killed. The riots were triggered by the Godhra train burning incident in which 59 people were killed.
The 1988-batch IPS officer is currently posted as Principal of the State Reserve Police (SRP) Training Centre in Junagadh district. The content of the affidavit has created a political storm with both Congress and BJP trading charges against each other.
In Kolkata, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said Bhatt was not present in the crucial meeting based on which the charges were made against Modi.
“The then Gujarat DGP K Chakravarthi has said that the IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt was not present in the February-27 meeting based on which the allegations were made against Narendra Modi”, Naidu told reporters. To a question whether Bhatt had made baseless allegations against Modi, Naidu said, “you are the best judge.” PTI