A day after senior Gujarat Police officer Sanjiv Bhatt blamed Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the 2002 communal carnage, citing his comments at a meeting in the aftermath of the Feb 27, 2002 Godhra train-burning incident, the officer's driver on Saturday said Bhatt had indeed gone to Modi's residence.
"We went first to the police station and after that Sir went in the DG's (director-general's) car to the CM's (chief minister's) house. I was asked to follow him. I was waiting inside the car. We were at the CM's house for about 25 minutes, and then we went back to the police station," Bhatt's driver Tarachand Yadav told a TV channel.
"We stayed there for quite a long time, and then came back home after midnight," said Yadav.
In his affidavit, filed before the apex court hearing the post-Godhra Gujarat riot cases, Bhatt said that after the Godhra train burning chief minister Modi at a meeting at his residence, in which he (Bhatt) was present, said that "this time the situation warrants that the Muslims be taught a lesson to ensure that such incidents do not occur ever again".
Bhatt, who was a deputy commissioner of police in the state intelligence bureau in 2002, said the top officials of the state administration and police were told this in the course of the late night meeting held at the chief minister's residence on Feb 27, 2002.
Bhatt in his affidavit said he had told the SIT that chief minister Modi took the position even though he was cautioned that bringing the bodies of the killed kar sevaks to Ahmedabad coupled with a bandh call given by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could spark communal riots and Gujarat Police were not adequately equipped to deal with such a situation.
Bhatt said that Modi responded by saying that "the bandh call has already been given and the party (BJP) has decided to support the same, as incidents like burning of Kar Sevaks at Godhra can not be tolerated".