Malegaon: The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC),
the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United
States with 10 chapters across the nation dedicated to
safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed
grave concern over the discriminatory and vindictive agenda being
pursued by the Gujarat State government that is reflected in the
arrest of whistleblower police officer Sanjiv Bhatt.
In a press statement IAMC president Saheen Khateeb recalled that
Bhatt had earlier courted the Modi administration's disapproval by
disclosing his presence at the meeting where Chief Minister
Narendra Modi directed law enforcement officers to "allow the
Hindus to vent their ire on the Muslims."
complicity in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom has been documented by
several independent human rights groups, this was the first time a
state functionary had come forward with direct evidence of Modi's
involvement in the pogroms of 2002 that resulted in the massacre
and displacement of thousands of Muslims", he added.
Last month, Bhatt had handed over, about 600 pages of documents to
the Central Bureau of Investigation which could incriminate
several politicians, police officers and bureaucrats for their
active connivance in engineering the riots of 2002, whose
countless victims are still struggling for justice.
On September 27, 2011, Bhatt filed an affidavit in the Gujarat
High Court, alleging that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the
former Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah had repeatedly sought
to pressurize him to withdraw his report and destroy the evidence
he had placed on record regarding the murder of former minister
"Failing to persuade me either to withdraw my report or destroy
the very important documentary evidences regarding the role of
certain highly placed State functionaries/politicians and senior
police officers in the killing of Haren Pandya, I was removed from
the post of Superintendent of Police in-charge of the Sabarmati
central jail and was kept without a posting for over
two-and-a-half months," Bhatt said in the affidavit.
"Against this backdrop, Sanjiv Bhatt's arrest by the Gujarat state
government and the harassment of his family by repeated raids on
his home, amounts to a witch-hunt that raises dubious questions
about the government's motives", IAMC president said in the
"The government's alacrity in arresting Bhatt, stands in stark
contrast to its criminal inaction against police officers who have
been charged with complicity in the riots," he said.
"It is equally remarkable that barely
any arrests or convictions have happened in over 2000 cases filed
by the victims of the 2002 massacres," added Mr. Khateeb.
While reiterating its commitment to the rule of law, IAMC has
urged the Gujarat government to eschew the sectarian agenda that
have marked Modi's 10 years as Chief Minister.
"It is the
Gujarat government's dismal record in upholding the rule of law,
that should serve as a context in which Bhatt's arrest is clearly
part of a pattern of vendetta against whistleblowers and human
rights activists", Khateeb said in the statement.