Special Investigation Team (SIT) has asked the suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to produce the original copy of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) alert message he had issued after the controversial meeting, chaired by chief minister Narendra Modi on February 27, 2002.
In a notice, issued under section 91 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on January 13, the SIT had directed Bhatt to produce the original and/or office copy of the alert fax message, which he had attached to his letter of January 4 to the Nanavati Commission, with a copy to the agency.
"You are also directed to produce any other documents/wireless message, fax messages available with you, which are relevant to the investigation (of Gulburg riot Case)," SIT further stated in the notice to Bhatt, issued by investigating officer Himanshu Shukla.
The alert fax message, according to Bhatt, was issued by him as the DCP of State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) on February 27, 2002, after attending the late evening meeting called by Modi.
According to the message, the state government had decided to bring bodies of 'kar sevaks' to Ahmedabad. It had also cautioned massive mobilisation of local cadres of VHP and Bajrang Dal for enforcing bandh on February 28, 2002, besides anticipating widespread communal violence and requesting preventive action from police.
Bhatt, in his reply, wrote to SIT chief R K Raghavan on Sunday stating that the notice was "outrageously shocking" as SIT was asking for documents that he had already given to SIT member A K Malhotra in 2009 and later to Shukla in 2011.
In the normal course of investigation, the investigating officer should have called for the 'original and/or office copy of the aforesaid fax message' from the State Intelligence Bureau, Gandhinagar and the offices of respective recipients of the said fax message," Bhatt said in his reply.
"This latest act of Himanshu Shukla only reinforces the persistent doubts about the motive and intent of the SIT," Bhatt said.
"It seems that for some inexplicable reason, the SIT, which had continued to intentionally disregard very important aspects of the investigation into the complaint of Zakia Nasim Ahesan Jaffery; has now also started indulging in suppression and/or disappearance of vital evidence with a view to screen powerful offenders, including Narendra Modi from legal punishment," he added.
He also pointed out that this had also apparently manifested in "deliberate reluctance of SIT to examine key witnesses, who could provide very vital information about the February 27, 2002 meeting held at the residence of Modi."
This is the same meeting, in which, as alleged by Bhatt in an affidavit filed in Supreme Court last year, Modi had directed state government officials and his party colleagues to let "Hindus vent out their anger" during the 2002 riots and Muslims be "taught a lesson".
Bhatt further pointed out that he had provided to the SIT, during his deposition, a list of important witnesses, who could corroborate his presence at the controversial meeting called by Modi.
He also requested Raghavan to provide guidance to his officers and dissuade them from indulging in acts aimed at shielding/screening the high and mighty criminals including, Modi, who are firmly ensconced in the Government of Gujarat.
Bhatt has further asked for copies of his depositions before the SIT as well as the list of documentary evidence, that he had provided to A K Malhotra and Himanshu Shukla.