Cop who filed FIR against Sanjiv Bhatt seeks security

Cop who filed FIR against Sanjiv Bhatt seeks security

Ex IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. File photo

The head constable K D Panth, who had filed an FIR in 2011 alleging that ex IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt had "forced and threatened" him to sign an affidavit in order to support the officer's claim that he was present at the then chief minister Narendra Modi's residence in the night of Godhra train carnage case, has moved Gujarat High Court seeking police protection.

Panth has said in the petition that the state government withdrew his security cover in April this year without giving any notice and recently he has been transferred from Ranip to Madhupura police station which is a "communally sensitive" area. He has said that couple of years back also he was transferred out of Ranip but following his representations and security issues his transfer order was revoked.

"Panth has been threatened in the past and there was also a complaint filed at Ranip police station regarding a kidnapping attempt sometime in 2014-2015. The local police had investigated the case and had opined that he needs round the clock security. Besides, he has been used politically in the past because of which he is always under immense pressure and danger," said his advocate Salim M Saiyed. 

In 2011, Panth had lodged an FIR with Ghatlodia police station alleging ex IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt of "forcing" him to sign a "false affidavit" to support the officer's claim that he was present at the chief minister's residence meeting in the night of February 27, 2002 where officers held an emergency meeting following burning of Sabarmati Express train. During 2002, Panth was working a driver of Bhatt who was posted in state intelligence bureau. Panth was cited as a witness who saw Bhatt entering the chief minister's residence. Initially, Panth supported Bhatt but later he backed out. Panth's FIR had resulted into the arrest of Bhatt.

Bhatt had claimed in his affidavit, which he first filed in Supreme Court and then before Nanavati Commission, which probed 2002 post Godhra riots, that in the meeting the then chief minister Narendra Modi had allegedly said, "Let Hindus vent their anger." 

Bhatt's testimony was not believed by Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team which probed nine riots cases including a court complaint filed by Zakia Jafri whose husband ex-Congress MP Ahsan Jafri was among 69 persons burnt alive at Gulberg Society massacre. His testimony was not supported by any other officers who were part of the meeting.

In the meanwhile, Bhatt's wife Shweta's lawyer on Monday moved the high court for fixing an early date for hearing her petition seeking police security. She had filed the petition in May. After a brief hearing, the court ordered that the petition for security cover will be heard on August 19. She has claimed in the petition that she is "constantly being followed and watched" by policemen in plainclothes and her privacy is "being breached."