Gujarat riots: Summoned by Nanavati panel,IPS officer
says his statement ‘will have bearing on history’
The G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta Judicial Commission probing the 2002 Godhra carnage and the subsequent riots in Gujarat on Wednesday summoned IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt,who had recently filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Bhatt has been summoned to appear on May 16 after the Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM),a body representing riot victims,filed an application seeking his deposition.
The secretary to the commission had contacted me to know if May 16 would be the convenient date for me to depose. And I have given my consent, Bhatt told The Indian Express after he was summoned.
When asked if what he says before the commission would have any bearing on Chief Minister Modi and others,Bhatt said,It would have a bearing even on the history of India.
So far,the commission had been resisting requests to summon Modi and some of his officials in the chief ministers office in 2002 along with then minister of state for home Gordhan Zadafia.
A petition filed by the JSM to summon them before the inquiry commission is pending before the Gujarat High Court.
Asked if he would repeat whatever he had told the Supreme Court in his controversial affidavit,Bhatt said: Much more may be.
I wanted to reveal certain details to the Special Investigation Team but it was not interested. The commission never called me. Now,my affidavit has created a lot of ruckus and the commission has summoned me on the application of Mukul Sinha (senior office-bearer of JSM and HC lawyer), he said.
In its application,the JSM said Bhatts deposition before the commission was very important in the wake of his recent affidavit before the Supreme Court.
Bhatt had stated that on February 27,2002,Chief Minister Modi had called a meeting of top officials. In that meeting,Bhatt claimed,Modi had instructed officers to let Hindus vent their ire following the Godhra train carnage in which 59 people,most of them Vishwa Hindu Parishad karsevaks,were burnt to death.
And February 28 onwards,Gujarat saw its worst communal riots.