A former BBC journalist, who was present in Gujarat during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots, has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court supporting the senior police officer Sanjeev Bhatt’s version about being present at a highly controversial meeting called by the chief minister Narendra Modi.
In his affidavit, Shubhranshu Choudhary, who was then working with the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Delhi bureau, has stated he reached Ahmedabad on 27 February 2002, a few hours after the Godhra incident.
“I arrived in Ahmedabad in the evening and given the situation I moved around and spoke to several people including the acting chief of intelligence of Gujarat Police, Sanjeev Bhatt,” Choudhary has stated in the affidavit.
“I met Bhatt at his official residence around 9pm. During our meeting he told me that he needs to go for a special meeting at the CM's residence, and cutting short the conversation he left,” Choudhary wrote in his affidavit.
The affidavit submitted by Choudhary to the amicus curaie (friend of the court) appointed by the Supreme Court in the case — senior lawyer Raju Ramachandran, states that the document has been filed in public interest.
Asked why he chose to come forward more than a month after Bhatt had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, Choudhary replied “after coming back when I came to know about the issue, as a journalist and a citizen, it is my duty to let the country know about the reality.”