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SIT: Sanjiv Bhatt did not attend Modi's Feb 2002 meeting

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Modi Bhatt
Ahmedabad, April 30: The Supreme Court-appointed SIT on Monday (April 30) said that as per all the evidence gathered, IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was not present during the high-level meeting held on February 27, 2002, in which Chief Minister Narendra Modi had allegedly instructed the police to go soft on rioters.

Bhatt had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in which he said he was present during the meeting in which Modi had allegedly instructed police to give the rioters room to "vent out their anger" and to "teach a lesson" to those involved in Godhra train burning incident.

SIT lawyer RS Jamuar told the metropolitan magistrate BJ Ganatra's court that the investigating agency has independently inquired into what had transpired in the meeting.

The court is hearing a protest petiton by Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri killed in the riots, seeking filing of charge sheet against Modi and 58 others who she had named in her complaint filed before the Supreme Court. She had also sought further investigations by an independent agency other than the SIT.

In the 2002 riots, around 1,000 people, majority of them Muslims, were killed.

Zakia in her petition has included the statements made by Bhatt on the alleged instruction given by Modi in that meeting.

"Sanjiv Bhatt says that he attended the meeting. But if he had attended, then he should have informed his senior officer G C Raigar about the developments of the meeting. Raigar has said that Bhatt never told him about any meeting that the latter attended," Jamuar argued.

"Also, Bhatt sent a wireless message to IPS officer Rahul Sharma asking him to confirm whether slain minister Haren Pandya was present at the high-level meeting convened by the Chief Minister. If Bhatt was present in the meeting, which is what Zakia Jafri has stated in the protest petition as evidence, then why should he ask Rahul Sharma whether Pandya was present in the meeting or not that night," Jamuar argued.

When Sharma said Pandya was not present in the meeting on the night of February 27, Bhatt again asked Sharma to verify and confirm whether he was there or not, Jamuar added.


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