Senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, holding the rank of a DIG, who
has been locked in a public confrontation with Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi in connection with 2002 Gujarat riots, was detained today in connection with an FIR filed
against him by a police constable.
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.
Constable KD Pant alleged that Bhatt had threatened and made him sign a "false" affidavit about a high-level meeting called by Modi on February 27, 2002 after the Godhra train attack in which 59 persons were killed.
Bhatt had said he was present at the February 27, 2002 meeting and filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging complicity of Modi and his government functionaries in the 2002 riots
Bhatt had been suspended by the Gujarat government in early August. Bhatt's six-page suspension order chiefly cited “unauthorised absence’’ from duty as ground for the action, and for using a state-given car even though he was not on duty.
"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
Bhatt has received a notice issued to Gujarat Police with regard to the case from the Supreme Court on his petition, Singh added.
He was taken to the Ghatlodia police station by ACP N C Patel, police said.
According to Pant's FIR, on June 16 he got a call from Bhatt asking him to come to his residence for some work.
As per the FIR, when Pant reached Bhatt's residence, the IPS officer informed him that amicus curie from the Supreme Court was coming on June 18 and they had to meet him to record a statement.
police constable further claimed that Bhatt took him to meet state
Congress president Arjun Modhwadia at his residence. Modhwadia too
assured him that there was no need to worry and he should do what Bhatt
was asking, he added.
After meeting Modhwadia, Bhatt took Pant to the office of an advocate and notary near the Gujarat High Court and made him sign two sets of affidavits, the FIR claimed.
Pant has alleged that Sanjiv Bhatt forced him to back his allegations on record against Narendra Modi, which is being given as the immediate reason for arrest.
Bhatt in his affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, where he had alleged complicity of Modi in the post-Godhra riots, had stated that Pant who knew about Modi's meeting was threatened with dire consequences and arrested by the special investigation team (SIT), which is probing some of the 2002 riot cases on the direction of the Apex Court.
He had further alleged that Pant was virtually treated like an accused by the SIT during his questioning on April 5, 2011.
Bhatt had also alleged that someone from
the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was leaking sensitive and
confidential details to Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta.
A few days back, on Sept 27, Bhatt told the Gujarat High Court that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah had tried to put pressure on him to destroy crucial evidence in the Haren Pandya murder case.
The allegations were made by Bhatt in an additional affidavit filed by him before Justice R H Shukla who was hearing an alleged police atrocity case against the IPS officer in Jamnagar district. Bhatt has sought relief in the case, which was contested by the Gujarat government.