Posts Tagged 'gujarat riots'

A note on the cases and conduct of Sanjiv Bhatt

A note on the cases and conduct of Sanjiv Bhatt

Much undue controversy has been raised by the vested interests on the alleged arrest and harassment of an IPS officer Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. Always the State Government has maintained that the process of law is above everything and it honours rule of law. The State government holds the Hon’ble Courts in high esteem. However, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt for the reasons best known to him has been leveling wild and baseless allegations against the government. It is strange that he, on the one hand wants due process of law should prevail and on the other hand when the same process of law is catching him up, he is alleging all sorts of things which he never disclosed earlier.
Wild allegations are being made about harassment of Police Officers and registration of false cases. It is strange that nobody is noticing that no such criminal case has been registered against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt by the Government. Even Shri R. B. Shreekumar retired DGP rank officer and Shri Rahul Sharma DIG rank officer who have been making statements against the Chief Minister and the State Government, no such complaints have been made by the Government. Hence, the government has nothing to say on the private FIR registered by the Police.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been in touch with some of the State Congress leaders as his email exchanges disclose. The revelations have sounded trouble for such people for which the allegations are being leveled against the government.
The allegations made against the Chief Minister on alleged illegal direction on 27-02-2002 after almost 10 years of incidence has already been investigated by the SIT. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has passed order on 12th September 2011 after considering the SIT reports and the Amicus Curiae’s comments thereon.
The CBI had carried out investigation to the late Shri Haren Pandya’s killing and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt did not found it fit to disclose the alleged killers name said to have been told to him by an accused Asgar Ali while he was the Jail Superintendent. Now when the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court is seized of his matter regarding his atrocities on hundreds of people at Jam khambalia in Jamnagar district, he is coming out with a wild disclosure.
Shri K. D. Panth is a Police Constable in the Police Department in Gujarat. He had been cited by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, suspended IPS officer of Gujarat cadre as witness to his alleged presence in the meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence on 27-02-2002. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt took Shri K. D. Panth before the SIT looking in to the complaint of Mrs. Zakia Ahesan Jaffrey and suo motu produced him as his witness.
Later on Shri Panth recollected that he was not present in the State during the time when the said alleged meeting was held on 27-02-2002. He recollected the fact that he along with his relatives had gone to Mumbai on 25.02.2002 & returned to Gandhinagar on 28.02.2002. Shri K. D. Panth wrote to the SIT about the facts and wanted correct his stand.
However, on 16-06-2011Shri Sanjiv Bhatt coaxed Shri KD Panth to meet him as his statement is required for strengthening his case for demand for security cover. When Shri Panth along with one Shri Shrenik Shah met Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, he was taken before a Notary in the midnight and forced him to make an affidavit.
Shri K. D. Panth realizing that he has been duped and coerced by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, immediately on 17.06.2011 filed an affidavit before the Executive Magistrate, Gandhinagar narrating about the facts and incident which took place in the night intervening 16.06.2011 & 17.06.2001.
Regarding this incident Shri Panth lodged a complaint in Ghatlodia Police Station vide I. C. R. No. 149/2011 on 22.06.2011.
In this connection Shri Panth’s statement under section 161 of CrPC was recorded by the Investigation Officer Shri N. C. Patel, under videography at his own request. Later on he recorded his statement before Ld. Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural at Mirjapur Court u/s 164 CrPC on 30.06.2011.
I.O. of this offence has also recorded the statement of witness of this case namely Shrenik Shah. This witness also gave evidence under section 164 CrPC before the Ld. Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural at Mirjapur Court.
Mr. Shrenik Shah who is a witness in this case of Ghatlodia Police Station I.C.R. No. 149/11 was threatened to compel Shri KD Panth to withdraw the FIR or face dire consequences. Hence, a case u/s 507 of I.P.C. was also registered by Shri Shrenik Shah in Chandkheda Police Station bearing C.R. No.II 3177/11 0n 23.07.11.
As a part of investigation Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was summoned u/s 160 of remain present before the Investigation Officer. First summons was issued on 12.08.2011 to appear before I.O. on 24.08.2011. 2nd summons was issued on 25.08.2011 for 02.09.2011. 3rd summons issued on 02.09.2011 to remain present on 19.09.2011. 4th summons was issued on 20.09.2011 to remain present on 30.09.2011. He has not remained present on any of the date given to him, stating various reasons. He sent communication in respect of last summons stating that as he has to remain present before the Justice Nanavati & Justice Mehta Commission it is not possible for him to remain present on 30.09.2011. It was inquired in the office of the Justice Nanavati & Justice Mehta Commission of Inquiry; and found that he has not been asked by the commission to remain present before the commission on 30.09.2011. It transpires from the above fact he is avoiding the summons and inquiry process, hence it was felt that to record his statement his arrest was the only step that the Investigation officer has taken.
This case being investigated by the concerned Police Officer where the case has been registered and detained Shri Sanjiv Bhatt as part of investigation on 30-09-2011. Search warrants were issued by the Investigation Officer on 30-09-2011 and on 01-10-2011. It is alleged that his house was ransacked during the search which is baseless and false as search was carried out as per law and under videography.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt filed a petition in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India praying for transfer of an offence registered as C.R.No.I 149 of 2011 which is filed as private offence independently by Shri K.D. Panth. It is a settled position in law that extraordinary constitutional jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India would be sparingly invoked and normally, a litigant should approach the jurisdictional High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has neither approached the Hon’ble High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India nor has he assigned any reasons shown as to why he cannot move the Hon’ble High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
Further, the facts stated and the grounds raised do not even remotely justify the petitioner invoking the jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India as none of his fundamental rights are violated. There is certain startling and shocking fact which shows that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is guilty of suppressing most material facts and making incorrect statement and even submitting fabricated document on oath. The copy of the office order mentioning rewards given to Shri K. D. Panth by the present petitioner as annexed in his petition is fabricated and words have been inserted deliberately though the actual order is different.
The investigation into the riot cases of the year 2002 is completed by the SIT and the trials are going on strictly in accordance with the order passed by this Honorable Court dated 1st May 2009 in Writ Petition (Criminal) No.109 of 2003. So far as the complaint of Smt. Zakia Naseem Ahesan Jaffrey dated 8th June 2006 is concerned, the said complaint is already examined by the SIT pursuant to order dated 27th April 2009 passed by this Honorable Court in SLP (Criminal) No.1088 of 2008. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has issued final direction in its order dated 12th September 2011. Hence, the allegation that witness like Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is being targeted is baseless. The judicial process will continue as per law.
The allegation being made against private FIR lodged independently by Shri K. D. Panth said to be with a view to falsely implicate, pressurize and intimidate Shri Bhatt is wild and baseless.
Even Shri Sanjiv Bhatt for the reasons best known to him, chosen to come out with wild allegations with respect to the incidents which took place 10 years back. He seeks to vaguely justify such a belated stand on the ground that he was ‘under the oath of secrecy’ all these years. However, on the contrary, he is sharing all information with several NGOs, Journalists and political people as his email exchanges show which would clearly demonstrate that the said explanation for delay is far from truth. Even the petitioner did not file any affidavit before the Justice Nanavati and Justice A. H. Mehta Inquiry Commission on the alleged facts as he is coming out now, neither he provided any information when the then Addl. DGP in charge of the State Intelligence Bureau Shri R. B. Shreekumar filed affidavit on behalf of the department in the said Inquiry Commission. The electronic media interview given by Shri R. B. Shreekumar on 24th April 2011 bears testimony to it.
Further, during the hearing of his petition in the Gujarat High Court, as per his habit, made wild allegation that the alleged killer of late Shri Haren Pandya, Asgar Ali confessed to him that Tulsi Prajapati was the real assassin. It is strange to understand that as he claims to be a conscious Police Officer as to why he did not disclose this fact to the CBI investigating this offence. Why he came out with this alleged disclosure through an affidavit when the hearing of his petition was over and the Hon’ble High Court is to deliver its order. This shows his deliberate attempt to create controversy with an ulterior motive. These wild and unsupported claims made by him are readily supported by the vested interests.
It is worthwhile to mention that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is an IPS officer of 1988 batch belonging to Gujarat cadre, whose career since the beginning of his service has remained controversial. He has been in sidelined postings throughout his career. He is facing several departmental proceedings and criminal cases of serious nature. Often he has been taking undue advantage of the government citing different arguments of his actions of omission and commission as part of his duty. However, many departmental inquiries could not be settled and the criminal cases against him are still pending for which he has been trying to get favour from the government. Even he has not been promoted as IGP though his batch mates have been promoted long back.
The controversial officer has come out with a claim that he had attended the meeting on 27-02-2002 when alleged illegal instructions were given by the Chief Minister. He has cited the support of a driver, who allegedly took him to the CM’s residence where the meeting took place. In fact the driver Shri Tarachand Yadav had been dismissed from the service long back for serious misconduct of forgery of certificates to obtain the driver’s job. Shri K. D. Panth has denied his presence in Gandhinagar on 27-02-2002. It is strange that the statement of the disgruntled officer and the dismissed driver are being given such hype while ignoring the statements of other most senior Police and IAS officers who remained present during the meeting on 27th February 2002.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had never been provided “Y” category security by the Government. There is a procedure to asses threat perception of a person where a Committee consisting of the Home Secretary, Additional DGP (Intelligence) and the Joint Director of the Central IB consider the category of the security cover required for a person and on this recommendation such security is provided by the Government. No such recommendation has ever been made for Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. The allegation that the Government has withdrawn his security is false and baseless. The DGP provided appropriate security to him.
In fact Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been in the habit of keeping more personnel at his residence in excess of the orderlies entitled. There had been such instances when he was posted at Banaskantha as SP and at Rajkot as DCP earlier. Shri Bhatt was posted as SP, Banaskantha from 13-10-1995 to 18-06-1996. He was keeping one head constable, eight constables, three constables for attending telephone calls, three constables for Picket duties, three commandos, four constable for guard duties, twelve constable for striking force and three constables for gardening at his residence at Banaskantha SP’s Bunglow. Shri Bhatt was charge-sheeted on 30/9/1999 for keeping more number of orderlies than the sanctioned number.
He was then transferred to Rajkot as DCP, where he remained for a period of eight months from 19th June 1996 till 23rd February 1997, as the Government had to transfer him out along with the then CP Rajkot, for an unpleasant incident. He was keeping 22 constables at his residence when he was posted at Rajkot as DCP. Show cause notices for such misconduct were also issued at the relevant time. Also he was instrumental in helping a person in a land grabbing case by lodging false criminal case against the opponent under prohibition Act. He was transferred to State IB where he remained till May 1997.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt the then ASP, Jamnagar during a call of `Bharat Bandh` on 30/10/1990 incident of arson and fire broke out at village Jamjodhpur, district, Jamnagar. Shri Bhatt enforced curfew for 3 days and used excessive power and TADA. Therefore, the then Government appointed a Commission under the Chairmanship of retired Judge Shri B.V. Desai.
In the Commission’s report Shri Bhatt was held responsible and a decision to initiate departmental inquiry was taken by the Government and accordingly he was charge-sheeted on 6.3.1992. In view of this, Shri Bhatt was not given promotion of Senior Time Scale.
During the “Bandh Call” police atrocities were committed when innocent people were beaten up mercilessly. One pregnant lady was also beaten up mercilessly. Kidney of two persons was damaged badly and later on one person namely Prabhudas Madhavji Vaishnani succumbed to injury on 18-11-1990 and died later on. There was a private criminal complaint filed at Jamjodhpur Police station against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt under Jamjodhpur Police station CR No.102/1990 under IPC sections 302, 323, 506(1) 114 by Shri Amrutlal Madhavji Vaishnani. This case is pending with the Sessions Court at Kahambalia, Jamanagar district. Meanwhile Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has approached the Gujarat High Court against the withdrawal of revision petition by the State government and against framing of charge sheet against him. The Gujarat High Court has completed the hearing and order is reserved to be delivered on 10th October 2011.
A criminal complaint was filed in 1996 by one Shri Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, an Advocate practicing at Pali, Rajasthan against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP, Banaskantha District. It is mentioned that Shri Sumer Singh Rajput was a tenant of sister of Shri R.R. Jain, a sitting Judge of Gujarat High Court. To get the tenant evacuated for the rented premises, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP of Banaskantha and his subordinate police officers planted more than 1 kg of Narcotic drug in one room in a hotel at Palanpur, Gujarat, which was shown that Shri Sumer Singh was occupying the same while he was at Pali, Rajasthan. The said complainant Advocate was abducted at midnight from Pali on the instructions of Shri Sanjiv Bhatt by his subordinate police staff and brought him to Palanpur, Banaskantha in Gujarat. The Advocate under pressure vacated the property. Physical possession of the property was immediately handed over to sister of Shri R. R. Jain, Judge of Gujarat High Court. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt asked released Shri Sumersingh Rajpurohit on 08-05-1996, after filing a report u/s 169 Cr.P.C., in which it was stated that Shri Sumer Singh could not be identified in the Test Identification Parade.
After the registration of the said private complaint in the year 1998 Shri R. R. Jain (the then High Court Judge, Rajasthan) and Shri Bhatt had filed a transfer petition (Criminal) No. 98/98 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The said petition was filed praying for transfer of proceedings. The Hon’ble Supreme Court disposed off the said proceedings vide an order dtd.3/11/98.
The State of Gujarat filed a petition in Rajasthan High Court praying for quashing of the private complaint filed by a private party, inter alia, contending that no further proceeding can lie without sanction of the State Government of Gujarat under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. More over Shri R. R. Jain who is also named in the private complaint also filed a separate writ petition for quashing of the said complaint before the Rajasthan High Court. Rajasthan High Court refusing to quash the complaint by a common order dated 5th April, 2000 passed in both the said petitions.
Shri R. R. Jain approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court by filing Special Leave to Appeal (CRL) No.1327/2000. Government of Gujarat also filed Special Leave to appeal (CRL) 1931/2000 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide an order dated 1st May, 2000 stayed further proceedings of the said private complaint pending before the court at Jodhpur-Rajasthan.
Ultimately on 30th September, 2002 Hon’ble Supreme Court of India pleased to admit both the petitions by granting leave to appeal and was pleased to direct Stay against the proceedings granted earlier to continue during the pendency of the appeal. The said appeal is not heard so far and the stay order granted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court is continuing till date.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Vigilance Commission, Gujarat State, had also opined vide its letter dated 15/7/2002 that charges leveled against Shri Bhatt are very serious in nature, therefore he should be placed under suspension. Again, Vigilance Commission wrote to the Government vide letter dated 19.10.2006 as the Government did not place Shri Bhatt under suspension.

Complaint against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt in National Human Rights Commission:
Shri Siddheshwar Puri, Secretary, Bar Association, Pali Rajasthan made a complaint to National Human Rights Commission on 1/6/1996 and alleged that wrongful arrest and detention of a lawyer named Shri Sumer Singh by Gujarat Police on 2.5.1996 from his residence at Pali, Rajasthan and implicating him in a false Narcotic case under section 17 of NDPS Act registered at Palanpur, District Banaskantha, Gujarat.
The National Human Rights Commission vide its order dated 15/9/2010 No. 2147/96-97/NHRC/FC ordered State Government to pay a sum of Rs. 1/- lakh monetary relief to Sumersingh, Advocate of Pali within eight weeks and asked to send a compliance report with proof of payment. The Gujarat government issued order dated 23-12-2010 as per the direction of the NHRC to pay the amount. A cheque was issued on 25-01-2011 in favour of Shri S.C. Rajpurohit. Now Sanjiv Bhatt has been directed by the Government to deposit the fine amount.

Promotions from senior time scale to DIG: (4 promotions simultaneously)
As Shri Bhatt is a 1988 Batch IPS officer he was entitled to get senior time scale on 1/7/92 but on account of above mentioned pending departmental inquiries he was not granted senior time scale. Resultantly he was not entitled to get junior administrative grade, selection grade and DIG grade along with his Batch mates. However, the State Government dropped all the 3 departmental inquiries against Shri Bhatt vide order dated 5.8.2005, 3.9.2005 and 24/7/2006. The State Government gave promotions in Senior Time Scale on 13/9/2007, in junior administrative grade, selection grade, and DIG grade all the three promotions by holding 2 special DPCs on one day on 21.9.2007. Therefore Shri Bhatt got 3 more promotions i.e. in Junior Administrative Grade on 21/9/2001, in Selection Grade on 3/12/2008, and in DIG grade on 29/9/2007.
However, though his batchmates and juniors have been promoted as IGs, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has not been promoted because of number of departmental inquiries pending against him.

Pending departmental inquiry against Shri Bhatt at present:
Shri Bhatt was charge-sheeted vide order dated 29.12.10 for irregularities in police recruitment in May, 1996 under the Chairmanship of Shri Bhatt when he was working as SP, Banaskantha. Shri Bhatt has not yet submitted his defence statement.
At present Shri Bhatt is posted in DIG grade as Principal SRP Training Centre, Junagadh vide Govt. order dated 1/9/2010. He remained absent from the duties for which repeated directions were given to him. Departmental Inquiry was instituted against him and he was suspended for gross indiscipline. The Government has served charge-sheet to him 0on 19th September 2011.

Pending preliminary inquiry against Shri Bhatt at present:
Preliminary inquiry has been instituted for the misuse of official resources by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt when he was posted as Additional Director General of Civil Defence.
Inquiry has been initiated by the Director General of Civil Defence for misusing official vehicles.
Inquiry is in advance stage in the matter where Shri Sanjiv Bhatt got issued more weapons than he is authorized and unauthorisedly taking away weapons without recording the same in the official Register. Serious misconduct amounting to offence under the Arms Act is involved.

Inhuman rights – by Uday Mahurkar

Inhuman rights
Uday Mahurkar
March 25, 2010

For eight long years, Gujarat 2002 has stood out as one of the worst episodes in our calendar of atrocity. Since then, the country has witnessed ugly sparring over the bloody riots between the Gujarat Government and the votaries of the Hindutva movement on one side and the human rights lobby on the other.
Setalvad is alleged to have included charges that were retracted later by the witnesses.
Meanwhile, the state Government, Chief Minister Narendra Modi in particular, has been repeatedly accused of direct or indirect involvement in the riots. In March 2008, the Supreme Court (SC) appointed the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation Director R.K. Raghavan, to reinvestigate nine major cases in the Gujarat riots of 2002. Charges flew back and forth once again last week when human rights activists called for the prosecution of Modi for his involvement in the riots in response to a petition.
The latest round of sparring began after the SIT sought Modi’s presence in response to an SC petition by Zakia Jafri, a riot victim and the widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, accusing Modi and 61 others of being involved in riots and hatching a conspiracy to kill Muslims. Ehsan was among the 69 people killed by a riotous Hindu mob in the Gulberg Society case.
“For eight years, canards have been spread against me. But the truth cannot be suppressed.”
NARENDRA MODI, Gujarat Chief Minister
Significantly, in March 2003, the SC had stalled the trial of nine Gujarat riot cases, thanks to the relentless campaign by the human rights activists seeking justice for the Muslim victims. The riot victims said they won’t get justice as long as the Gujarat Government had a role in the police probe and the subsequent trial. The SIT is reinvestigating the cases under the virtual supervision of the apex court, with even the judges and public prosecutors being selected under the SC’s monitoring.
As the SIT goes about its task, more and more evidence is surfacing that the human rights lobby had, in many cases, spun macabre stories of rape and brutal killings by tutoring witnesses before the SC. In the process, it might have played a significant role in misleading the SC to suit its political objectives against Modi and his government.
Last week, one of the most horrible examples of cruelty resurfaced once again as the trial of the Naroda Patiya case, where 94 persons were killed, began in the SC-monitored special court in Ahmedabad. Soon after the riots, the human rights activists and the Muslim witnesses had alleged that a pregnant woman Kausarbanu’s womb was ripped open by rioters and the foetus was flung out at the point of a sword. The gruesome incident was seen as the worst-possible example of medieval vandalism in the modern age.
The wait for justice for Gujarat’s riot victims is still not over
Last week, eight years after the alleged incident, Dr J.S. Kanoria, who conducted the post-mortem on Kausarbanu’s body on March 2, 2002, denied that any such incident had ever happened. Instead, he told the court: “After the post-mortem, I found that her foetus was intact and that she had died of burns suffered during the riot.” Later Kanoria, 40, told INDIA TODAY, “I have told the court what I had already written in my post-mortem report eight years ago. The press should have checked the report before believing that her womb was ripped open. As far as I remember, I did her post-mortem at noon on March 2, 2002.”
A careful study of the three police complaints, claiming that Kausarbanu’s womb was ripped open by the rioters, shows several loopholes. While one complaint accuses Guddu Chara, one of the main accused in the Naroda Patiya case, of ripping open Kausarbanu’s womb, extracting her foetus and flinging it with a sword; another complaint accuses Babu Bajrangi, yet another accused in the case, of doing the act. A third complaint, on the other hand, does not name the accused but describes the alleged act.
Modi will also have reasons to smile at the affidavits filed by the Muslim witnesses in the SC in 2003 at the behest of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and Teesta Setalvad on the basis of which the trial in nine cases were stalled for six long years. The most glaring hole is in the affidavit of Nanumiya Malek, a key witness in the Naroda Gam case. In his affidavit before the SC filed on November 15, 2003, Malek stated that a newly married woman called Madina, who lost four of her relatives, including her husband in the riots, had been raped by the rioters.
“Her (Kausarbanu) foetus was intact and she had died of burns suffered during the riot.”
Malek’s affidavit states: “I was witness to the crimes of murder and rape that took place on Madina and her family. I also saw seven people being burnt alive, including four orphans. I request the SC to keep the details of this rape victim confidential since she is alive and use it only for the purpose of trial and conviction of the rapists.” But on May 5, 2009, in his statement before the SIT, Malek said: “I had wrongly claimed that Madina had been raped. I made the charge because of Teesta Setalvad’s pressure. I kept on telling her not to include that charge in my affidavit, yet it was included.”
In her statement before the SIT on May 20, 2008, Madina, who has remarried now, said: “The charge made by Malek claiming that I was raped by a riotous mob is false. I wasn’t raped. When the riotous mob put my house on fire, I tried to run but was attacked by a rioter who injured me with a knife. Later I managed to merge in a Muslim crowd.”
There are six other affidavits filed by different Muslim witnesses on November 15, 2003, that wantonly allege rape in the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya riot cases without giving any details. Interestingly, all the affidavits have a uniform language: “Over 110 persons were not simply killed, but raped and mutilated as well, including young children. We urge the SC to stay the trials and transfer them to a neighbouring state and also order fresh investigation.” The affidavits state that they had been filed at the behest of Setalvad and in the presence of her co-activist Rais Khan.
“I had wrongly claimed that Madina was raped. I made the charge because of Teesta Setalvad’s pressure.”
If this wasn’t enough, other glaring attempts by human rights activists to tutor witnesses have come to the fore. For example, soon after the Gulberg massacre in which Ehsan Jafri was killed, nearly a dozen Muslim witnesses told the police that Jafri had fired in self-defence, killed a rioter and injured 14 others. They also said that this led the mob to resort to violence and attack Muslims in Gulberg with vengeance. But almost half of them who deposed before the special court have retracted from this statement.
The statement of Imtiaz Pathan in the Gulberg trial also raises eyebrows. He told the special court that before being killed, Jafri told him that Narendra Modi abused him (Jafri) on phone when he sought protection during a mob attack. Incidentally, there is no record available of Jafri having made any call to Modi. Pathan didn’t name Modi in the first police statement he made soon after the riots. Interestingly, he has also identified as many as 27 individual attackers from a mob of thousands of rioters.
When the SIT started taking statements of witnesses in the Gulberg Society case, around 20 witnesses came with typed statements. But the SIT objected to it, citing Section 161 of the CRPC, saying that the police must record the statement of a witness. So when the SIT forced the witnesses to give their statement during the interrogation, there was a vast difference between the ‘readymade typed’ statements and the oral evidence that the police had received earlier.
As a senior lawyer defending the accused puts it: “The witnesses under the influence of the human rights activists didn’t allow videotaping of their statements while they were being recorded. There is an obvious attempt on the part of activists to dictate not just the SIT, but also the courts.” Last week, INDIA TODAY quizzed Setalvad about the charge of tutoring the witnesses and creating false evidence before the courts in the 2002 Gujarat riot cases.
Her response: “I am under no obligation to respond to your questions.” The human rights activists’ band seems to believe that one side’s suffering is greater than the other’s.
Credibility Gap
In his petition before the SC, Nanumiya Malek, a key witness in the Naroda Gam case, says that a married woman called Madina had been raped by rioters. Now
Malek later told the SIT that Madina’s rape was an accusation put forth at the behest of Teesta Setalvad. Madina also denied the charge.
For the past eight years, human rights activists and Naroda Patiya victims have alleged that the rioters ripped open the womb of the pregnant Kausarbanu. Now
Dr J.S. Kanoria, who conducted a post-mortem on Kausarbanu’s body, says she died of burns during the riot and that her womb was intact.
While reinvestigating the Gulberg case, the SIT comes across nearly 20 witnesses who came with their readymade, typed statements to which the SIT objects. Now
The Muslim witnesses refuse to videotape their statements. The statements that are recorded by the SIT do not match the readymade statements.
Imtiaz Pathan, a key witness in the Gulberg case, tells the special court that Ehsan Jafri was abused by Modi when Jafri called the latter seeking his help during the riots. Now
The SIT has not been able to find any evidence or a record of Ehsan Jafri making a phone call to Narendra Modi.
In their 2003 SC petition, Muslim witnesses accused the rioters of raping women. As a result, the trials of nine major cases were stalled for over six years. Now
In their statements made before the SC-appointed SIT, the witnesses haven’t accused the rioters of raping women.

NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT

NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT

14 Apr 2009, 0413 hrs IST, Dhananjay

Mahapatra, TNN

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team responsibile for the arrests of those accused in Gujarat riots has severely censured NGOs and social activist Teesta Setalvad who campaigned for the riot victims.

In a significant development, the SIT led by former CBI director R K Raghavan told the Supreme Court on Monday that the celebrated rights activist cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings.

Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, the SIT said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.

* A pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons

* Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioteers at Naroda Patiya

* Police botching up investigation into the killing of British nationals, who were on a visit to Gujarat and unfortunately got caught in the riots

Rohtagi said: “On a reading of the report, it is clear that horrendous allegations made by the NGOs were false. Stereotyped affidavits were supplied by a social activist and the allegations made in them were found untrue.”

Obviously happy with the fresh findings of the SIT which was responsible for the recent arrests of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodanani and VHP leader Jaideep Patel, Rohtagi tried to spruce up the image of the Modi administration, which was castigated in the Best Bakery case by the apex court as “modern day Neros”. He was swiftly told by the Bench that but for the SIT, many more accused, who are freshly added, would not have been brought to book .

The Bench said there was no room for allegations and counter-allegations at this late stage. “In riot cases, the more the delay, there is likelihood of falsity creeping in. So, there should be a designated court to fast track the trials. Riot cases should be given priority because feelings run high having a cascading effect,” it said and asked for suggestions from the Gujarat government, Centre, NGOs and amicus curiae Harish Salve, who said the time had come for the apex court to lift the stay on trials into several post-Godhra riot cases.

While additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam agreed with the court that public prosecutors should be selected in consultation with Raghavan, counsel Indira Jaising said there should be a complete regime for protection of witnesses as the same government, which was accused of engineering the riots, was in power now.

Salve said that he would consult Raghavan and let the court know about a witness protection system for post-Godhra riot cases. The court asked the parties to submit their suggestions within a week.

Some Gujarat riot victims retract charges before SIT

Manas Dasgupta

“Earlier statements fabricated, recorded without our knowledge”

AHMEDABAD: In a queer turn, some of the victims of the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat have retracted their charges of rape and bribing of the police by the rioters before the Special Investigating Team (SIT).

As it approached the victims for recording their statements, as per the Supreme Court’s order for investigating some of the cases afresh, the team encountered the U-turn.

The SIT has appended the statements of at least six persons contradicting what they said in the charge sheet filed before the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court in connection with the rioting at Naroda Gam in which it named 53 accused, including 29 fresh names, but had to drop the charge of rape in at least one case.

The victims told the SIT that the earlier statements filed in their names at various places, including as an affidavit in the Supreme Court, were “fabricated” and recorded without their knowledge. They agreed that they had signed the statements but claimed that the statements were in English and they had no idea of what these contained. “We were made to sign on the dotted lines and we did it,” some of them said.

A 25-year-old woman, in her statement before the SIT, denied that she was ever raped as was mentioned in her statement before the apex court filed in 2003. She said she was stabbed in the hand by some rioters and her family members were burnt alive. She said she had fled the scene of violence and had no idea if any other woman was raped by the mob.

The woman said her earlier statement was recorded in English by some voluntary organisations through counsel. She claimed that when she was told orally about what had been written, there was no mention of rape. “I was made to sign the paper and I did it without knowing the contents written in English,” she said.

Maqsood Pathan denied his earlier statement that he saw some senior BJP leaders handing over a black suitcase to the then local inspector after which the police left the scene leaving the field open for the rioters to make mayhem. In his earlier statements, Pathan named two former BJP members of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation as having offered the bribe to the police to get the field cleared for the attack on the minorities.

Rafiq Sheikh, Mohammad Malik, Rafique Malik and Rahim Malik also retracted their statements giving vivid descriptions of the mob attacks and naming some Hindu leaders in the vicinity among the rioters.

Among those earlier named by some victims as having instigated the rioters were the then BJP member of the Assembly, Maya Kodnani, now Minister of State in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, and VHP State general secretary Jaideep Patel.