Gujarat has ignored a recommendation from its own police force and three increasingly urgent appeals over the last three months from Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt to provide him and his family with security.
These appeals were made in letters to Balwant Singh, Gujarat's additional chief secretary (home), on February 14, March 5 and April 13. The letters went unanswered, and attempts were made to withdraw Bhatt's official car.
"He (Bhatt) now lives in fear and prays nothing happens to his wife and son," a source close to the officer told Hindustan Times.
The state intelligence bureau (SIB) and the Ahmedabad city police too recommended that Bhatt be provided Y-category security -- that implies 11 guards -- given the perceived threat to his life from right-wing fanatics after he implicated Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots.
Instead, the little security that Bhat, principal of the state reserve police training college, had provided himself and his family was withdrawn.
"I have no security for myself and my family," Bhatt, an engineer from IIT Bombay, told HT.
"I am deeply contrained to state that despite the earnest and urgent requests made to you vide my letters…no steps have been taken for providing me and my family with foolproof security," Bhatt wrote in the latest letter to Singh on April 13. "It may be noted that instead of enchancing the existing security to the level recommended by the SIB as well as the Ahmedabad City Police; the ADGP (additional director general of police) Training has repeatedly sought to withdraw my official vehicle as well as the 5 armed constables from SRPTC (state reserve police training college) staff being deployed by me as part of the makeshift, though grossly inadequate, security cover for me and my family at Ahmedabad."
Additional home secretary Singh denied any request from Bhatt. "I have not received any letter seeking security for himself (Bhatt) and his family," said Singh.
In his letter, Bhat said the security of his family was in "irreparable jeopardy" at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing the special leave petition filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Member of Parliament Ahsan Jafri who alongwith 68 others was burnt to death in his Ahmedabad home on February 28, 2002, by a mob of Hindu zealots.
(with Mahesh Langa)