“All this because he spoke against Modi”: IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife, Mumbai

Press Meet ‘In Solidarity with IPS Sanjiv Bhatt’ held in Mumbai

sanjiv bhatt

The life imprisonment of the former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt last month, in a 1990 custodial death case, has enraged several activists who stood Sanjiv Bhatt’s family member calling it an attack on the suspended IPS officer for speaking against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Shweta Bhatt, wife of Sanjiv, and her son Shantanu addressed activists and media as part of their ‘Campaign for Justice’ in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The press meet ‘In Solidarity with IPS Sanjiv Bhatt’ was held at Mumbai Marathi Patkar Sangh Hall near Azad Maidan, CSMT, Mumbai. The speakers included activist Firoz Mithiborwala, Prakash Reddy (CPI), Anand Patwardhan, Indian documentary filmmaker ,Vidya Chavan of the NCP and Mihir Desai, senior advocate. The meet was presided over by Jatin Desai, himself a journalist. Shweta Bhatt gave a detailed account of the harassment of her family and the discrepancies in the court proceedings while Mihir Desai threw light on the legal aspects of the case.

Shweta Bhatt explained that, when in 1990, when 133 people were detained following a riot in Jamjodhpur town after LK Advani’s Rath Yatra, Sanjiv was far away and the area where the crime was allegedly committed did not fall under his jurisdiction. There are no police witnessses to state that Sanjiv either arrested or interrogated the 133 detained people, she said and added, “In September 2018, police came to my house and arrested my husband. He never got bail. All this, because he spoke against Modi. Our security was withdrawn. Just before the bail hearing in January, a dumper truck without a registration plate rammed into my car and dragged us until we hit a divider in a place where heavy vehicles are not permitted.”

Shweta also said that only 32 of the 300 witnesses listed by the prosecution were examined, none of them were relevant and the defence was not allowed to produce any witnesses. She further added, “I will not bear this at any cost, I will get him (Sanjiv) back.”

Senior advocate Mihir Desai also added  that during the course of trial, Sanjiv submitted evidence and documents but they were not considered by the court. “This looks like a targeted attack on Sanjiv for speaking against Modi. I feel this judgment of the sessions court is erroneous in nature and I hope the High Court will turn it around,” said Desai.

Another ‘Candle light vigil and solidarity gathering’ for Sanjiv Bhatt is scheduled to be held on July 15 at his residence in Ahmedabad from 7 to 8 p.m.

The Gujarat cadre IPS officer, who criticised then chief minister Narendra Modi over his handling of the 2002 riots, was suspended in 2011 and sacked by the Ministry of Home Affairs in August 2015.

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