Senior Gujarat police officer Sanjeev Bhatt has told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that chief minister Narendra Modi had asked police officials to "let Hindus vent out their anger against Muslims following the Sabarmati Express train burning incident in Godhra on February 27, 2002".
The IPS officer also said he had "no faith" in the SC-appointed special investigation team (SIT) probing the riots.In a meeting, Gujarat's top police officers were told by Modi that emotions were running high among Hindus against the minority community, Bhatt has said in his affidavit sent to the apex court on April 14.
DIG Bhatt, principal of police training school in Junagadh, was superintendent of police (SP) in the state intelligence bureau in 2002.
The officer said in his affidavit that he attended a meeting the CM had called where he (Modi) "instructed the officials to let Hindus vent out their anger against Muslims so that repeat of Godhra-like incident never happens in the state".
The said meeting is said to have taken place on February 27, 2002 at the chief minister's official residence in the state capital Gandhinagar.
Around eight top police officials of the state were present in the meeting where Modi had "ordered let Muslims be taught a lesson".
"I filed an affidavit on 14th April in the Supreme Court. I have gone on oath when recording this statement," he told HT over the phone.
Gujarat government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said the matter was under SC's consideration, so the state would not comment.
Besides Modi, Bhatt also implicated the SIT for "trying to protect the Gujarat government instead of taking the probe to its logical conclusion regarding the 2002 riots".
In his affidavit, he has said he had "no faith in the SIT and therefore he is approaching the apex court".
According to him, since he served in the state intelligence, he was privy to a lot of confidential information which he never revealed till he was called by the SIT.
"I was never summoned by any forum to appear before this. It was for the first time that I was summoned by SIT in 2009," he said.
According to sources, SIT recorded his statement on the 2002 riots three times but the probe agency did not act on the information, Bhatt said in his statement.
He had also offered to give a confessional statement under section 164 of CrPC, which is recorded before a magistrate and can't be retracted without penalty.
Bhatt also said the state government had consistently denied security to his family and him and attached letter to that effect in his affidavit.
Additional chief secretary Balwant Singh, however, said no request had been received by the state.