Ex-constable backs Bhatt's claim on attending Modi's meeting

Ex-constable backs Bhatt's claim on attending Modi's meeting

"On February 27, 2002, I received a message from the Gandhinagar police control room at around 9:30 pm to check why Bhatt had not reached Gandhinagar as he could not be contacted," Naresh Brahmbhatt said.

According to Brahmbhatt, he was posted at Memnagar police station in the city at that time.

"I was told to go and deliver the message at Bhatt's house," he told PTI over phone. "On reaching Bhatt sir's residence, I was told that he had already left to attend the meeting ten minutes earlier," Brahmbhatt said.

Sanjiv Bhatt, a 1988-batch IPS officer, who was posted as DCP at the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) during the 2002 riots, has stated in an affidavit before the apex court that he had attended the February 27 meeting where Chief Minister Narendra Modi allegedly asked officers to be "indifferent" to the rioters.

However, the then state Director General of Police, K Chakravarthi, and Modi himself have denied that Bhatt was present at the meeting on that day.

Brahmbhatt was dismissed by Gujarat government on May 4 this year while serving as head constable at Kothara police station in West Kutch district on the charge of making unauthorised statements about the police force and allegedly praising Bhatt for his revelation with regard to 2002 riots.

The Supreme Court had on May 5,declined to take Bhatt's affidavit on record. Bhatt has alleged the Gujarat Chief Minister had taken an "anti-minority stance" during the post-Godhra riots.

The apex court has given the Special Investigation Team's report regarding inquiry into complaint against Modi and others to the amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran for further study.

Once Ramchandran gives his opinion, the court will decide whether Bhatt's affidavit should be taken on record.