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Modi did not take action despite specific intelligence inputs: Gujarat cop

Monday May 16, 2011 09:29:04 PM, IANS

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Ahmedabad: Senior Gujarat police officer Sanjeev Bhatt Monday told the Nanavati-Mehta commission that he had informed Chief Minister Narendra Modi in advance about the attack on the Gulberg Society Feb 28, 2002 but, despite specific intelligence inputs, no orders were issued.

The Indian Police Service officer, who was summoned by the commission probing the 2002 riots, claimed that he was not only present at the emergency meeting held on the evening of Feb 27, 2002, after 59 people were burnt alive by a mob in the Sabarmati Express at Godhra, but was also present at meetings held the next day.

Bhatt said that as the then intelligence officer, he had informed the chief minister about the attack and the threat to the lives of the people living in Gulberg Society, and requested for police protection there.

He claimed that despite having the input, the chief minister did not issue any order to that effect.

Former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri was among those killed by the mob that attacked Gulberg Society Feb 28, 2002.

His wife Zakia Jaffery had told a special court trying the Gulberg Society massacre case that her husband was dragged by a mob, which stripped him and chopped off his limbs before burning him.

Bhatt said in his deposition that senior police officers did not favour bringing the bodies of the Godhra train carnage victims to Ahmedabad following a decision to support the bandh call on Feb 28. They feared that the situation could get out of control because of the lack of an adequate police force.

The probe panel had allowed an NGO, Jan Sangharsh Manch, which is representing some of the 2002 riot victims, to cross examine Bhatt despite opposition by the government counsel.

JSM's counsel Mukul Sinha took the line that the government should support cross examination rather than registering protests.

Bhatt, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, has alleged that the chief minister had instructed top state officials to allow the masses "to vent their anger" during the communal clashes and wanted "Muslims to be taught a lesson".

JSM claimed that the deposition by Bhatt would be very important and material evidence on deciding the role and conduct of Modi and others.

Further hearing of the matter is slated for May 23 when the government counsel will question Bhatt.



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