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Former Gujarat top cop rebuts Sanjiv Bhatt's 2002 claim

Saturday April 23, 2011 08:09:54 PM, IANS

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Ahmedabad: Gujarat's former police chief K. Chakravarti Saturday rebutted police officer Sanjiv Bhatt's claim of being present at a meeting on Feb 27, 2002 when, according to the latter's affidavit, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that Muslims needed to be "taught a lesson" for the Godhra train burning in which 59 Hindus were killed.

Chakravarti, who was Gujarat's director general of police in 2002, said in an interview to CNN-IBN channel that Bhatt was not present at the meeting at the residence of chief minister Modi.

"Sanjiv Bhatt was not present at the meeting. I have already deposed before the Nanavati commission and the SIT. I have nothing more to add. The court will be considering various affidavits and will come to a conclusion which will be binding on all.

"I have nothing more to say as the matter is subjudice," Chakravarti said when pressed about Bhatt's affidavit in the Supreme Court on the meeting and the 2002 Gujarat riots in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

"The Special Investigation Team will come up with their findings and place it before the Supreme Court and the honourable court will decide on the basis of whatever facts are placed before it and after checking the versions of everybody and who is speaking the truth. So we will have to wait for the verdict and opinion of the honourable apex court," Charavarti told the channel.

Bhatt, who was a deputy commissioner of police in the state intelligence bureau in 2002, in his affidavit said that after the Godhra train burning chief minister Modi called a meeting of top officials of the state administration and police at his residence, in which Bhatt was present. According to his affidavit, Modi said that "this time the situation warrants that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not occur ever again".

Chakravarti also said that he was never issued any instruction by the state government to let the police force remain a mute spectator during the riots.

"I have already clarified before the SIT. I have deposed before the Nanavati Commission. I have been cross examined before the Nanavati Commission. No such instructions were issued to me," said Chakravarti.

Meanwhile, Bhatt's official driver Saturday said Bhatt had indeed gone to Modi's residence that night.

"We went first to the police station and after that Sir went in the DG's (director-general's) car to the CM's (chief minister's) house. I was asked to follow him. I was waiting inside the car. We were at the CM's house for about 25 minutes, and then we went back to the police station," Bhatt's driver Tarachand Yadav told a TV channel.

"We stayed there for quite a long time, and then came back home after midnight," said Yadav.






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