The lawyer of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the 2002 Gujarat riots today contended that Sanjeev Bhatt, suspended IPS officer, forged evidence to malign the state government.
"Sanjeev Bhatt has claimed that he had alerted Chief Minister's office of impending riots...Through fax messages, but during our investigation it was found that many of those messages were forged," said advocate R S Jamuar, arguing before Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra here.
"We strongly believe that Bhatt, who came out in open against (Chief Minister) Narendra Modi and state government almost after nine years, has no other intentions but to malign it," Jamuar added.
He cited a few fax messages submitted by Bhatt to SIT, and said, "These messages show initials of his then superior officers G C Raigar and O P Mathur. But both the officers denied that those were their initials."
Jamuar was replying to the issues raised by Zakia Jafri, who has filed a petition challenging the closure report of SIT giving clean chit to Modi and others for their alleged roles in 2002 post-Godhra riots.
Jafri, whose husband and ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed in Gulbarg society massacre during riots, has demanded that Modi and others be charge-sheeted. Her original complaint to the Supreme Court cites Bhatt as a witness.
Jamuar, contending that Bhatt was not a reliable witness, submitted some e-mail correspondence between Bhatt and Rahul Sharma, another IPS officer. In one of these, Bhatt sought information from Sharma on the location of former Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya on the evening of February 27, 2002.
"Bhatt, who has alleged that Modi instructed the police officials not to take any action against rioters, claims that Pandya attended that meeting (at Modi's official residence) and he (Bhatt) was also present. If he was present in that meeting, then how come he was seeking information of Pandya's location at that time," Jamuar said.
"We have found no evidence about Bhatt's presence in that meeting and as he wanted to support his allegations he was seeking information from Rahul Sharma who clearly told him that during the late evening of February 27 (after the Godhra train incident) Pandya's mobile location indicated that he was in Ahmedabad," the SIT lawyer said.