Court Rejects Bail Appeal of Gujarat Riots Whistleblower Sanjiv Bhatt

Sanjiv Bhatt (center) File Photo, Courtesy: The Indian Express
Sanjiv Bhatt (center) File Photo, Courtesy: The Indian Express

In order to seek justice for her husband, Shweta urges the people of India to support her in this fight against the cruel Modi regime.

By Rakesh Raman

Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt, the wife of Sanjiv Bhatt, informs that earlier this week on September 25 the Gujarat High Court rejected the appeal for bail in a 3-decade-old case against her husband.

“It is nothing but the works of fanciful imagination, after hearing the matter for all but two days. Immediately on completion of our arguments, the court without even taking as much as a second, declared that the bail is denied,” Shweta wrote in her Facebook post on Saturday (September 28).

“I do not know what is more disappointing, the continuous blatant miscarriage of justice, or the sorry state all our once independent constitutional institutions have been reduced to,” she added.

Sanjiv Bhatt, a police officer who blamed India’s prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi for Gujarat riots of 2002, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in an unrelated 30-year-old custodial death case.

The Jamnagar Sessions Court on June 20, 2019 had sentenced Bhatt to life imprisonment under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with a custodial death in 1990.

Shweta, wife of the police officer, claims that it is a fabricated case against her husband who spoke truth to power. She says that her husband is being targeted for a crime he did not commit.

Bhatt, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from Gujarat, had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India against the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi (who is now the PM of India), alleging that the riots were committed at Modi’s behest. Nearly 2000 people – mostly Muslims – were killed in the riots.

GUJARAT RIOTS AND INJUSTICE

In his affidavit, Bhatt claimed that he had attended a meeting, during which “Modi allegedly asked top police officials to let Hindus vent out their anger against the Muslims.” However, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India concluded that Bhatt did not attend this meeting, and dismissed his allegations.

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“I enter the courtroom every time ready to fight this injustice, prepared to yet again hear the absolutely nonsensical and illogical arguments of the Public Prosecutor, knowing fully well that everything is already pre-decided. While we continue to fight this with facts, truth, logic, and legality, they continue to fight this politically, with absolute misuse of power and subversion,” Shweta laments.

Although Indian courts had almost exonerated Modi in this case, most Muslims in India still believe that Modi was responsible for Gujarat pogrom. The less said about the Indian courts, the better.

According to Human Rights Watch, the attacks against Muslims in Gujarat were actively supported by state government officials and the police. Police told Muslims, “We don’t have any orders to save you.”

It is stated that the 2002 Gujarat riots were premeditated and constituted a form of ethnic cleansing while the state government under Modi and law enforcement were complicit in the violence that occurred.

As a result, the U.S. administration had denied visa to Modi in view of the allegations of human rights violations against him in the 2002 incidents of riots and carnage. But now as he has become the PM of India, Modi is visiting the U.S. frequently because now he enjoys political immunity.

In order to seek justice for her husband, Shweta urges the people of India to support her in this fight against the cruel Modi regime. “While all of you continue to sit in your homes, with your families, detached from the harsh realities of this (Modi) regime, Sanjiv’s fight for justice continues,” she said.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman