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Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife writes, its 4 years, 8 months, 8 days since Sanjiv still in jail

IndiaShweta Sanjiv Bhatt's wife writes, its 4 years, 8 months, 8 days since Sanjiv still in jail

This is Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt, It is now 4 years, 8 months, and 8 days since Sanjiv has been languishing in jail for a crime he did not commit.

Shweta, the wife of Sanjiv Bhatt shared on Twitter:  This is Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt, It is now 4 years, 8 months, and 8 days since Sanjiv has been languishing in jail for a crime he did not commit.

Following the same Modus Operandi, in yet another gross travesty of justice, Sanjiv was once again stripped off of his basic legal and constitutional right to defend himself.

While on the one hand, Supreme Court Justice, M.R. Shah, right before his retirement dismissed our application to submit Evidence in court; on the other hand, the High Court of Gujarat dismissed our petition to call Defence Witnesses!

Where does one turn to when the very institutions established to dispatch justice, start acting as a tool to ensure justice is never delivered? The right to a fair and free trial, and the right to defend one’s self fully, are the basic constitutional, legal, and human rights of any individual; however, in Modi’s “New India”, these rights are not afforded to the honest and upright. The subversion of the judiciary to silence Sanjiv Bhatt at any and every cost only further proves the undismissable threat Sanjiv’s truth poses to this fascist and authoritarian regime. They may continue to subvert the system by fear and greed; we will continue to fight for justice with truth and dignity.”

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt had been arrested in connection with the 2002 riots in Gujarat. State police obtained a warrant for Bhatt based on him ‘conspiring to falsely implicate’ innocent people.

Bhatt describes himself as a Kashmiri Pandit and earned an MTech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985. He is married to Shweta Bhatt.

Sanjiv Bhatt’s Case

Sanjiv is known for his role in filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India against the then Chief Minister of the Government of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, concerning Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. He claimed to have attended a meeting, during which Modi allegedly asked top police officials to let Hindus vent their anger against the Muslims. However, the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court of India concluded that Bhatt did not attend any such meeting, and disregarded his allegations.

In 2015, Bhatt was removed from the police service, on the grounds of “unauthorised absence”. In October 2015, the Supreme Court stopped Bhatt’s plea for constituting a special investigation team (SIT) for cases filed against him by Gujarat Government. The court lifted a stay on his trial in these cases and asked him to face prosecution.

The court said that “Bhatt was in active touch with leaders of rival political parties, was being tutored by NGOs, was involved in politics and activism of creating pressure, even upon the 3-judge bench of this court, amicus and many others”.

On 20 June 2019, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Sessions Court of Jamnagar District in the state of Gujarat in a 1990 custodial death case.  However, Sanjiv claims he was not even in the area when the person died.

He joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1988 and was allotted the Gujarat cadre. In 1990, as the Additional Superintendent of Police, he detained 150 people in order to control a riot in Jamnagar district. Prabhudas Vaishnani, one of the detainees, died of kidney failure a few days later, after being hospitalised.

His brother lodged an FIR against Bhatt and six other policemen, alleging that he had been tortured in police custody. Another man, Vijaysinh Bhatti, alleged that he had been beaten up by Bhatt.

From December 1999 to September 2002, he worked as Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in the State Intelligence Bureau (India) at Gandhinagar. He was responsible for looking after the state’s internal security, border and coastal security, and security of vital installations. He was also responsible for Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s security.

During this period, the Godhra train burning and the subsequent Hindu-Muslim riots led to over a thousand deaths in February–March 2002.

Sabarmati Jail
In 2003, Bhatt was posted as the superintendent of Sabarmati central jail. There, he became very popular among the prisoners. He introduced desserts like gajar ka halwa on the jail menu. He also posted undertrials in the Godhra train burning case on a jail committee. Two months after his appointment, he was transferred for being too friendly with the prisoners and granting favors to them. On 18 November 2003, nearly half of the 4000 prisoners went on a hunger strike to protest his transfer. Six convicts slashed their wrists in protest.

By 2007, Bhatt’s colleagues from the 1988 batch had been promoted to the rank of Inspector-general of Police (IGP). However, Bhatt had stayed at the SP level for a decade without any promotion, because of the pending criminal cases and departmental inquiries against him.

In November 2012, Bhatt and six other policemen were charged with murder in the 1990 custodial death case of Prabhudas Vaishnani. On 20 June 2019, he was sentenced to life in relation to this case.

Presently, the Supreme Court refuses to permit ex-cop Sanjiv Bhatt to produce additional evidence before Gujarat High Court in the custodial death case. Unfortunately, “Sanjiv Bhatt was once again stripped off of his basic legal and constitutional right to defend himself,” as voiced by many netizens.

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