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Dec 04, 2012 at 10:40am IST

Gujarat court to hear custodial death case involving suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

Jamnagar: Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's case will be heard in a Jamnagar court on Tuesday. The local court had earlier framed charges of murder and other offences against him in a 22-year-old case of custodial torture. Recently, Sanjiv Bhatt's wife Shweta Bhatt given a poll ticket by the Congress against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the coming elections.

Sanjiv Bhatt said that he has been targeted for going against the Modi government. "This is an ongoing process by the Gujarat government against those who stood up to speak against the government," Bhatt said.

ALSO SEE Custodial death: Charges filed against Sanjiv Bhatt

A Gujarat court filed charges against Bhatt and six policemen who are accused in the 1990 Khambalia custodial death case. The Gujarat High Court had on October 23 rejected the petitions of the accused policemen challenging the Jamnagar sessions court's earlier order of dismissing their discharge applications in the case.

Guj court to hear custodial death case involving Sanjiv Bhatt

The local court had earlier framed charges of murder and other offences against Bhatt in the 22-year-old case.

The High Court had also directed the lower court to expedite the trial of this 21-year-old case and further directed the sessions court not to interrupt the trial unless there is any order either from the High Court or Supreme Court.

The case concerns the death of one Prabhudas Vaishnani who allegedly succumbed to the injuries inflicted on him while in custody. The police had allegedly thrashed him while he was in custody at the police station on the night of October 30, 1990.

The Gujarat government stood by Bhatt till 2011 stating that the death was not custodial death, but reversed its stand after the suspended IPS officer took an anti-Modi government stand on communal riots. Bhatt, who alleged complicity of Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002 post-Godhra riots, was assistant superintendent of police at the time in Jamnagar. Prabhudas's brother, Amrutlal Vaishnani, had lodged a case against Bhatt and the other policemen.