Ahmedabad: Senior IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who has been locked in a public confrontation with the Gujarat government over 2002 post-Godhra riots, was suspended on Monday night.
The Narendra Modi government ordered the suspension of the Inspector General-rank officer with immediate effect on the grounds that his conduct was unbecoming of an IPS officer.
A letter from the state Home department was handed over to Bhatt at his residence, an official said.
Bhatt was locked in a public confrontation with the Gujarat government over 2002 post-Godhra riots.
"They(government) have suspended me with immediate effect. They can do anything they want," Bhatt told PTI after receiving the suspension letter. Bhatt is currently the Principal of SRP Training school at Junagadh.
The specific reasons cited against Bhatt was unauthorised absence of duty, non-appearance before a departmental panel and alleged misuse of official vehicle.
Bhatt, who has earlier accused Modi of misusing state machinery during post-Godhra riots, alleged recently that SIT probe details on riots cases were leaked to a top law officer of the state government. He had also accused Modi of asking cops to ignore calls for help from Muslims during the riots.
Bhatt, in his 19-page supplementary affidavit filed before the Supreme Court last week, alleged that someone from within the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was leaking sensitive and confidential details related to investigations conducted by it to Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta.
Bhatt alleged in the affidavit that he had seen e-mails from the SIT probing the riots cases in the personal mail account of Mehta.
Mehta on his part lodged a complaint with the state cyber cell last Friday accusing Bhatt of hacking his e-mails.
"A case has been registered against IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt after a complaint was lodged against him by the Additional Advocate General of Gujarat High Court accusing him of hacking his e-mails," according to Joint Commissioner of Police of sector-I Ajay Tomar.
"An FIR has been registered (under the Information Technology Act-2008) at the Vastrapur police station, and investigations are underway," another police official said.
Incidentally, Bhatt and Mehta have been family friends since long.
Mehta alleged that Bhatt hacked his e-mail and accessed it and passed on the information to others also.
"These communications contain my personal, official, and legal correspondences which are not only unauthorisedly seen by Bhatt but shared by him with others for ulterior motive, which, apart from being criminal offences, grossly violates my right of privacy," Mehta said in the complaint.
"I have reasons to believe that he must have taken hard and soft copies of my emails and he is using the same out of contact for an ulterior motive and with an intention of tarnishing my reputation," he said.
Bhatt had filed a petition in the Supreme Court a couple of months back accusing Modi of misusing state machinery against Muslims during the post-Godhra riots.