AHMEDABAD, September 30, 2011 – Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in 2002 post-Godhra riots, was arrested on Friday following a complaint by a police constable.
Mr. Bhatt was being questioned in connection with an FIR filed against him by Constable K.D. Pant, who had worked under him during the 2002 riots.
He has been accused of threatening a public servant, fabricating false evidence and wrongful confinement.
“Bhatt has been arrested and is being questioned,” City Police Commissioner Sudhir Sinha said.
Mr. Pant alleged that Mr. Bhatt had threatened and made him sign a “false” affidavit about a high-level meeting called by Mr. Modi on February 27, 2002 after the Godhra train carnage.
According to Mr. Bhatt, Modi is alleged to have said at the meeting that the Hindus should be allowed to vent their anger and that Muslims should be taught a lesson.
“Bhatt has been brought in for questioning with regard to the FIR against him in the Ghatlodia police station. His statement will be recorded.” Gujarat DGP Chitranjan Singh earlier told PTI.
Mr. Bhatt has received a notice issued to Gujarat Police with regard to the case from the Supreme Court on his petition, Mr. Singh added.
He was taken to the Ghatlodia police station by ACP N.C. Patel, police said.
According to Mr. Pant’s FIR, on June 16 he got a call from Mr. Bhatt asking him to come to his residence for some work.
As per the FIR, when Mr. Pant reached Bhatt’s residence, the IPS officer told him that the amicus curiae from the Supreme Court was coming on June 18 and they had to meet him to record a statement.
Mr. Pant alleged Mr. Bhatt had asked him to tell the amicus curiae that the Special Investigation Team had forcibly recorded his statement. When he resisted, Mr. Bhatt allegedly threatened him and said there was no need to worry if he did what he was told.
The police constable further claimed that Mr. Bhatt took him to meet State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia at his residence. Mr. Modhwadia too assured him that there was no need to worry and he should do what Mr. Bhatt was asking to do, he added.
After meeting Mr. Modhwadia, Mr. Bhatt took Mr. Pant to the office of an advocate and notary near the Gujarat High Court and made him sign two sets of affidavits, the FIR states.
Mr. Bhatt in his affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, where he had alleged complicity of Mr. Modi in post-Godhra riots, had stated that Mr. Pant, who knew about Mr. Modi’s meeting, was threatened with dire consequences and arrest by the SIT which is probing some of the 2002 riot cases on the direction of the Supreme Court.
He had also alleged Mr. Pant was virtually treated like an accused by the SIT during his questioning on April 5, 2011.