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IPS officer's affidavit courageous but reveals nothing new: Chidambaram

Monday April 25, 2011 01:44:49 PM, IANS

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Kolkata: Welcoming the statement of senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt blaming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the 2002 communal carnage, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Monday said he was glad that people were standing up to say what they felt and such allegations have been "in the air for quite some time".

"These allegations or these statements have been in the air for quite some time. Only now people have summoned the courage to make them public," Chidambaram told reporters here.

Chidambaram said that according to Bhatt, he had made the statement before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) earlier, but it was not taken seriously.

"Today, I read that another IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer has made such a statement. But anyone who has closely followed what was happening in Gujarat knows that a number of people were willing to speak the truth but were afraid to speak.

"Now many of them are wiling to come forward and make statements," the minister said.

The minister said whether these officers are speaking the truth or not has to be established through an investigation.

"I am glad people are standing up to say what they feel happened during the period," he added.

Bhatt, who was part of the state intelligence set up then, blamed Modi for the communal carnage, saying the chief minister wanted Muslims to be taught "a lesson" for the Feb 27, 2002 Godhra train burning that left 59 Kar Sevaks dead and that Hindus should "be allowed to vent their anger".

"I have deposed before the Special Investigation Team (SIT), the Nanavaty-Mehta judicial enquiry commission probing the 2002 communal riots and the process I have gone through has made me go for the affidavit before the Supreme Court. Rest, I leave it to the apex court. If I am called, I will depose before it," he said.

To questions why he had remained silent so long, Bhatt has said nobody had asked him anything till 2009. "When the SIT asked me, I testified thereafter but the process left me concerned and therefore the affidavit," he said.







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Picture of the Day

A free blood testing camp at “Bharat Nirman Lok Mahiti Abhiyan”, at Shahada, District Nandurbar, Maharashtra on April 22, 2011.



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