Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh Saturday met Shweta Bhatt, wife of sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who was last month sentenced to life imprisonment in a 29-year-old custodial death case.
Bhatt was suspended from the Indian Police Service in 2011 and sacked by the Ministry of Home Affairs in August 2015 for ‘unauthorised absence’ from service.
“In Sanjiv Bhatt’s matter, the people of Gujarat and sensitive people believe whatever happened to him is not right. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in a 30-year-old case, which raises a huge question on the entire system,” Singh told reporters after meeting Shweta Bhatt at her residence here.
“The man is shown to have died in custody actually died in a hospital, and that too eighteen days after he was granted bail. To bring up such an old matter and to give a life sentence to an IPS officer is wrong and unjustified,” Singh claimed.
Singh, who is a national spokesperson of AAP, said while it is hoped that courts would grant him relief, voices should also be raised in Parliament and on the streets over the kind of decisions taken against him.
Singh said giving importance to one custodial death case when there have been 184 such deaths in Gujarat has made people raise questions.
“People believe the case was made out against Bhatt because he kept raising his voice against the people in power with bravery and without considering repercussions. We are with the family of Sanjiv Bhatt and will help them in every possible way,” the AAP leader said.
Bhatt was, before his sentencing, arrested in another case of falsely implicating a man for alleged possession of drugs.
On October 30, 1990, Bhatt, additional superintendent of police at the time, detained around 150 people following a communal riot in Jamjodhpur town after a bandh call against the halting of veteran BJP leader L K Advani’s “rath yatra” for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
One of those arrested, Prabhudas Vaishnani, died in a hospital after his release.
Vaishnani’s brother later lodged an FIR against Bhatt and six other police officials, accusing them of killing his sibling by torturing him in detention.
On June 20, the Jamnagar-based court of sessions judge D N Vyas convicted Bhatt under Indian Penal Code Section 302 (murder) and sentenced him to life in jail.