Kolkata, Apr 25 (IBNS) Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said he is ‘glad’ that senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt had the guts to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in the 2002 Godhra case.
“I am glad people are standing up to say what they feel happened during the period,” Chidambaram told reporters here.
“These allegations or these statements have been in the air for quite some time. Only now people have summoned the courage to make them public,” he said.
“Today, I read that another IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer has made such a statement. But anyone who has closely followed what was happening in Gujarat knows that a number of people were willing to speak the truth but were afraid to speak.”
“Now many of them are wiling to come forward and make statements,” said PC.
Chidambaram is in Kolkata to campaign for the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance in the ongoing state assembly polls.
Bhatt has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court naming Modi in connection with the Godhra case and said the police ‘blindly’ followed the CM’s instructions that led to the decline of law and order in the state.
He said Modi asked the police to remain ‘indifferent’ to the rioters.
“The effects of directions given by the Chief Minister were widely manifested in the half-hearted approach and the evident lack of determination on the part of Police while dealing with the widespread incidents of orchestrated violence during the State sponsored Gujarat bandh on 28th February 2002 and also during the weeks that followed,” read a portion of his affidavit.
The officer also claimed to be present at the closed door ‘controversial’ meeting that was held at Modi’s residence on February 27, 2002 night.
“As an officer serving with the State Intelligence Bureau at that relevant point of time, I was not only present at the meeting held at the residence of the Chief Minister on the night of 27.2.2002, but had also witnessed the apparent lack of firmness on parts of many Police Units while dealing with the emergent situation,” Bhatt said in his affidavit.
Bhatt alleged that the SC-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) is trying to ‘shield’ Modi.
The infamous Gujarat riots of 2002 left hundreds of Muslims dead, injured and tortured and came as a blot in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP rule). The riots followed an incident of train burning in Godhra in which Hindus returning from Ayodhya were killed by a Muslim mob.
Around 1,000 supporters of prime accused Maulvi Umarjihad attacked the coach at the Godhra station and torched it killing 59 people and injuring many.