I am discharging my duty: Sanjeev Bhatt

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Narendra Modi
Ahmedabad, April 23: Senior IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging complicity on the part of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots, on Friday said he was only discharging his duty.

"I have told my version of truth in the affidavit filed by me in the Supreme Court," Bhatt told reporters here.

Refusing to divulge details of the affidavit, he said, "My reasons for filing the affidavit are mentioned in the document. I have no specific aim for filing the affidavit, I am just discharging my duty." Bhatt said that during the SIT interrogation he answered all the questions asked by the agency.

"What I observed during the SIT questioning, I thought it should be brought to notice of the Supreme Court which I have done." He said he had attended the meeting called by Modi on the evening of February 27, 2002, in his capacity as an intelligence officer then.

Bhatt also clarified that from 2002 to 2009, he was never called by any agency probing the riot case, including the Nanavati Commission. "I am ready to go before any agency which calls me. But without calling I cannot go," he said.

According to Bhatt, in 2009, he was called for the first time after the riots to depose before an investigation agency.

The SIT had a discussion with him in 2009 but recorded his statement only in March 2011.

To a query about his presence in the meeting called by Modi, which has been denied by others who attended it, Bhatt said it was their prerogative what they wanted to say.

"I was there as an intelligence officer. I have told my part of the truth. I have mentioned in the affidavit who asked me to attend the meeting, and with whom I went there," he said.

"If SIT and the Supreme Court want the truth they will get it in my affidavit," he said.

Bhatt was extensively questioned by the SIT, headed by former CBI chief R K Raghavan, for three days on March 21, 22 and 23 this year, in connection with the complaint of Zakia Jaffery, wife of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jaffery.

Zakia, in her complaint, has alleged that Modi and 62 others, including his Cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted the riots which left over 1,000 people dead across the state.

She had further alleged that between February and May 2002 there was a "deliberate and intentional failure" of the state government to protect the life and property of innocents.

Bhatt, a 1988 batch IPS officer was posted as DCP at the State Intelligence Bureau during the 2002 riots. He is presently posted as the principal of the State Reserve Police training centre in Junagadh district.

PTI

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