Gandhinagar: Sanjiv Bhatt, Gujarat cadre IPS
officer, who shot into the limelight after his claimed presence at
a crucial meeting of Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the night
after the Godhra train carnage in 2002 where a signal for
retributory action was allegedly given, was suspended from service
late Monday night.
The suspension order, meanwhile, was served on him under rule 3(1)
of the All India Service Rules and signed by Varesh Sinha,
additional chief secretary (Home) of the Gujarat government.
The order stated that he was being suspended with immediate effect
for his various acts of omission and commission and for a conduct
unbecoming of a senior IPS officer.
Among the other reasons cited in the letter were remaining
unauthorisedly absent from last posting, not appearing before an
enquiry when called, and for misuse of the official car.
An IGP-ranked officer, Bhatt was last posted as principal of the
SRP training School at Chowky near Junagadh.
Bhatt told IANS that he had received his suspension order around
"I always kept them informed. Only ten days back I had sought 60
days' leave to take care of my sick mother", he added.
Bhatt said that he was being suspended for unauthorised leave even
as he had been busy deposing before the Nanavati-Mehta judicial
enquiry commission which is probing the Godhra train carnage and
the communal riots that followed in the state thereafter.
Bhatt has been in the eye of Modi after he filed an affidavit in
the supreme court stating that he was present at a meeting held at
the chief minister's bungalow on the night of Feb 27,2002.
In this meeting, Modi had allegedly hinted to his officers to
allow Hindus to vent their anger on the Muslims in the aftermath
of the train carnage at Godhra which left 59 passengers burnt to
The statewide riots that followed thereafter left about 1,000
people, mostly Muslims, as dead. Bhatt was with the state
intelligence bureau at the time of the carnage and the subsequent
Bhatt had in his affidavit, also cast aspersions on the
functioning of the apex court appointed Special Investigation Team
headed by R.K.Raghavan.
He was also summoned by the Nanavati panel to depose before it and
his questioning has been marred by legal wranglings.
As the slugfest between Bhatt and the might of the Gujarat
government continues, the state police has filed an FIR against
him charging that he coerced a policeman to sign an affidavit
testifying that the officer was present at the meeting in
Bhatt, in turn, has knocked the doors of the supreme court urging
that the investigation into this FIR be transferred outside the