Chidambaram airs concern at Gujarat cops' case, BJP hits back

Chidambaram airs concern at Gujarat cops' case, BJP hits back

Chidambaram airs concern at Gujarat cops' case, BJP hits back

Terming it a matter of concern, Chidambaram Friday said: "Rules do provide for the central government to take certain steps at a certain stage. But it all depends on the concerned officer to invoke the situation."

"Let that situation come, then this government will decide," he added. BJP leader Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of conspiring with the rebel police officers and attempting to destabalise the BJP government in Gujarat.

“The central government is not the big brother that it can intervene in this matter,” Jaitley said.  The BJP leader said it was the state government's duty to take action against the indiscipline of police officials and called the home minister's comment a “documentary evidence” of the centre's efforts to destabalise the BJP government.

“Here is a second evidence where the union home minister, who should really be concerned with serious policing in the country, has intervened in favour of the indisciplined police officers. There is not the least doubt that the Congress party and the central government are trying to encourage the indiscipline,” Jaitley said.

“We don't expect police officers in this country to be actively conspiring with political leaders as to how to destabilise the state government. Here you have hard documentary evidence available... some police officers are active in contact and communication with political leaders of the Congress party along with some civil-society activists,” he alleged.

The BJP leader also said that if the Congress kept intervening in the matter, it will be a serious matter of confrontation between the Congress and the BJP.
“It is a serious issue, and if the home minister and the Congress party do not resist from doing so, I think this will become a serious bone of contention between government and the BJP,” Jaitley said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, meanwhile, sought the central government's intervention in protecting the whistle-blower officers.  “All seems to suggest that a desperate Gujarat is walking an extra mile to see that the truth of Gujarat remains buried, and I think that the government of India and the Supreme Court have to be proactive to ensure that these whistle-blower officers who decided to stand up are protected,” Tewari said.

Three senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers of Gujarat cadre - Sanjiv Bhatt, Rahul Sharma and Rajneesh Rai - have alleged victimisation by the Modi government after they accused the state government of inaction during the 2002 riots and in a case of alleged staged shootout killing.

Rai has told the Central Administrative Tribunal that his annual confidential report has been downgraded by the state government.  Bhatt had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying Chief Minister Narendra Modi had instructed officials and police to let Hindus vent their anger after the Feb 27, 2002, Sabarmati Express train coach burning in which 59 Hindus were killed. Bhatt was suspended on Aug 8 for unauthorised absence from duty among other reasons.

Sharma had in 2004 submitted CDs of records of telephonic calls between the police, politicians and Sangh Parivar members during the 2002 riots to the Nanavati-Mehta Commission probing the riots.  The Modi government had issued notice to Sharma asking him who gave him the permission to hand over the records to the commission. The Gujarat home ministry has been given the nod to file a charge  sheet against Sharma.