Top Gujarat cop Sanjiv Bhatt, who has openly challenged Chief Minister Narendra Modi by accusing him of wanting to teach Muslims a "lesson" after the Godhra train attack in 2002, joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1988 after his post-graduation from IIT Mumbai.
The 47-year-old police officer, who is currently heading the State Reserve Police Training Centre at Junagadh, has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing Modi, and also casting doubts about the functioning of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the riots that followed the Feb 27, 2002 train burning.
Allotted the Gujarat cadre on joining the IPS, Bhatt has served in various capacities in the state.
From December 1999 to September 2002, he served as deputy commissioner of intelligence in the State Intelligence Bureau in Gandhinagar.
His job was to keep tabs on internal security, border and coastal security and security of vital installations. He was also entrusted with the security of the chief minister.
In his affidavit, Bhatt clearly stated that it was during this tenure that he was summoned along with other senior officials and told to lie low as emotions were running high among Hindus following the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra, in which 59 Hindus, mostly Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), activists were killed. The activists were returning to Gujarat from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
The train burning led to communal violence that left at least 1,000 people dead across Gujarat.