Ahmedabad: Suspended Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who says that he has been targeted by Chief Minister Narendra Modi has alleged that evidence related to the 2002 Gujarat riots has been selectively destroyed and hence an inquiry should be ordered into the same. "These are state control room records, state intelligence bureau control room records which reflect as to how the situation developed, what information came in, what instructions were given. These are the very documents which can create a picture where an inquisition is ordered. Those very documents are either destroyed or they are not available. This is a clear cut attempt by the state to conceal and withhold information and a failure on the part of SIT to get hold of those records or at least get them preserved. And even these raises questions as to why the commission did not requisition those records," Bhatt said.
He 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.
This came after a Gujarat court on Thursday 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. 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.