Some Lesser Known Facts About Sanjiv Bhatt
- Sanjiv Bhatt is a former IPS officer who joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in the year 1988 from Gujarat Cadre.
- In 1990, being the Additional Superintendent of Police, he arrested 150 people amidst the riots in Jamnagar district.
- An FIR was registered against Bhatt and 6 other policemen by the brother of one of the detainees, Prabhudas Vaishnani, as he died due to kidney failure a few days later following his detention. His brother alleged that Prabhudas died of the extreme torture in the police custody.
- In 1996, Bhatt as the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Banaskantha district, was accused of framing a false narcotic case against a Rajasthan-based lawyer, Sumersingh Rajpurohit.
- In 2002, during his tenure as Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in the State Intelligence Bureau at Gandhinagar, he was also charged for the security of the then Cheif Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. This was the period when the Godhra train burning massacre took place following the Hindu-Muslim riots resulting in deaths of thousands of people.
- He played a vital role in filing an affidavit against Narendra Modi; alleging Modi’s role in 2002 Gujarat’s communal riots. He further stated that he attended a meeting in which Modi openly asked the police force to let the Hindus take their revenge against the Muslims.
- The Supreme Court of India appointed a Special Investigation Team and found that Bhatt did not attend any such meeting and dismissed his allegations.
- In 2003, Bhatt was transferred from Sabarmati central jail after 2 months of his appointment for being too friendly with the prisoners. He notedly introduced ‘Gajar Ka Halwa’ on the jail menu also. His transfer resulted in a mass protest by over 4000 prisoners.
- Since there were many pending criminal cases against Sanjay, he remained at the post of SP for a decade without any promotion; whereas, almost all his colleagues from his batch were promoted to the rank of Inspector-general of police (IGP) by 2007.
- On 30 September 2011, Sanjay was detained after an investigation took place into K D Panth’s FIR. Human rights activists and Congress leaders who spoke against the Modi government of persecuting Bhatt condemned his arrest. However, Bhatt was released on bail on the condition that he would cooperate with investigations into the allegations laid against him.
- In 2011, KD Panth (his constable driver), who signed the affidavit filed by Bhatt stating Bhatt’s presence at Modi’s controversial meeting, later filed an FIR against Bhatt alleging him of forcefully making him sign the affidavit.
- In 2011, Bhatt refused to accept an award presented by the Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar Academy.
- Bhatt demanded Supreme Court to make arrangements for his personal security since he believed that SIT had leaked his testimony to the state government. He was then provided with two personal guards for his and his family’s security.
- On 8 August 2011, he was suspended by the government of Gujarat on the grounds of being absent from the duty unauthentically and not presenting before an inquiry committee. He was also reprimanded on using his official car while not on duty.
- Bhatt accused the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of destroying the important evidence regarding the Hindu-Muslim riot of 2012 and of not carrying the investigation properly.
- In 2012, Bhatt along with 6 other policemen was charged with murder in the death case of Prabhudas Vaishnani (custodial death case, 1990).
- In 2012, his wife, Shweta Bhatt, contested unsuccessfully against Narendra Modi in state assembly elections.
- The Supreme Court of India in 2015, cleared the way for criminal prosecution of IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his misconducts of forcefully making signatures on his affidavit and also for hacking the e-mails of an advocate general of Gujarat, Tushar Mehta.
- On 19 August 2015, Sanjay was expelled from the IPS on the basis of, “unauthorized absence.”
- In 2018, Bhatt was arrested in a 22-year-old case for planting drugs to arrest Sumersingh Rajpurohit, a lawyer from Rajasthan.
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