New Delhi: Yet another top police officer in Gujarat has gone public, raising questions over the conduct of the Gujarat police force in controlling the communal riots in 2002. Retired Gujarat Director General of Police RN Bhattacharya has said that there was a feeling among officers that the lower rank officials had failed to safeguard the rights of the citizens.
As the head of the IPS Officers' Association, he even called for a meeting to discuss the issue. As many as 40 officers attended the meeting, even as riots were on and passed a resolution that they must fulfill their constitutional duty.
"It would have been impossible at that time. But the response of these 40 IPS officers was a sequel to the feeling that on the ground level, things are not being properly done," said Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya has also questioned the stand taken by the state government in the Nanavati Commission that IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is not a credible witness and his statements and affidavit cannot be entertained. Bhatt too had earlier raised questions over the Gujarat police's role, indicating that was the result of instructions given by state Chief Minister Narendra Modi on February 27, 2002.
"How can a counsel say such a thing? It is beyond me. I have worked with Sanjiv Bhatt when I was DG, Intelligence. I have found him to be a highly reliable man," Bhattacharya claimed.
While the Supreme Court will finally decide on Modi's role in the riots, this fresh revelation does strengthen allegations that the Chief Minister did ask the police officers to go slow against rioters during the post Godhra riots.