Eighteen days after his arrest and 13 days after rejecting a compromise with the Gujarat government, IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt – who has accused chief minister Narendra Modi of complicity in the 2002 riots – got bail from the Ahmedabad sessions court on Monday.
The suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was arrested on September 30 on the basis of a constable’s complaint for allegedly fabricating evidence against Modi regarding the riots after the Godhra train burning.
After his release from the Sabarmati Central Jail, Bhatt said the rule of law had prevailed. On October 4, during a hearing on the plea for his police remand, Bhatt had rejected a court’s proposal that if he went on police remand for a few hours, his bail plea could be heard the same day. “I cannot compromise with those goons,” he had said in the court.Continuing in the combative vein, Bhatt termed his release a "victory for 2002 riots victims" and said he saw Modi as a criminal. He said, "I will do my work and they (government) will do theirs. I am not going to spare them and they will not spare me."
Constable KD Pant, who was Bhatt’s driver during the riots, had accused the IPS officer in June of forcing him to file a false affidavit. The affidavit claimed Bhatt had attended a meeting called by Modi on February 27, 2002, hours after the Godhra carnage in which 59 passengers, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed.
In April, Bhatt had filed an affidavit (supported by Pant’s affidavit) in the Supreme Court stating Modi had told the police at the meeting to “let Hindus vent their anger”. Granting bail to Bhatt, judge VK Vyas noted there was no wrongful confinement of Pant and no case of fabrication of evidence.