Gujarat government arrests Sanjeev Bhatt
The Gujarat government on Saturday tightened the noose around suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who had implicated chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots, even as a local court refused to send him to police remand. The city police added one more section, 194 of the Indian Penal Code, in the FIR against Bhatt charging him for creating false evidence with a view to wrongly implicate a person in a case wherein maximum punishment is death penalty. Under this section, a person can be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty. This means the case will now have to be tried by a sessions court. As his wife warned that he faced a threat to life, Bhatt’s counsel I H Syed dubbed the remand application as frivolous. Bhatt’s wife Shweta on Saturday wrote to Gujarat DGP Chitranjan Singh and Ahmedabad police commissioner Sudhir Sinha about the possible threat. “A case has been lodged against Bhatt in Ghatlodia police station and he has been handed over to the crime branch, which has encounter specialists. I can’t trust them at all, I fear for his life,” she said, adding, “My house was raided by policemen yesterday for more than two hours without intimation. They took away Bhatt and since then there has been no communication with him.” Shweta said the family feared that it “shall never get justice in Gujarat”. Syed argued that all aspects that police wanted to know have been explained in the petition filed by Bhatt before the SC in July and the arrest and remand application were an overreach of SC proceedings. The police had sought a seven-day remand to interrogate Bhatt. A magisterial court sent Bhatt to judicial custody in Sabarmati Central Jail, where he was posted as the superintendent in 2003. He was arrested on Friday in connection with an FIR filed against him by constable K D Pant for allegedly threatening and making him sign a “false” affidavit about a meeting called by the CM on February 27, 2002. Bhatt’s home in Memnagar was raided for the second time on Saturday and cops took away his computer. The first raid was conducted hours after his arrest on Friday.