Suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt sacked

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2015 01:24 IST
Sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt said he was removed from service by the Gujarat government after a "sham and ex-parte" probe.

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had taken on the Gujarat government over the handling of the 2002 riots, was sacked on Wednesday on the ground of "unauthorised absence" from service.

Bhatt said the action came after a "sham inquiry". "Finally removed from service today after serving 27 years in the Indian Police Service. Once again eligible for employment. :) Any takers?," he tweeted late on Wednesday.

"Mind you, this so-called 'unauthorised absence from duty' pertains to the period when I was deposing before the SIT (investigating into the Zakia Jafri complaint) and the Nanavati Commission (inquiring into the Gujarat riots)," he wrote in a Facebook post, questioning the rationale behind his removal.

Bhatt, a 1988 batch IPS officer, had crossed swords with the ruling establishment of the state, taking on then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi over the riots. He had been under suspension since 2011.

He had alleged in an affidavit in the Supreme Court that Modi had instructed top police officers to allow the Hindus "to vent out their anger" after the train-burning incident at Godhra in February 2002. Bhatt had also claimed that he had attended a meeting at Modi's residence in Gandhinagar on February 27, 2002.

Read:Sanjeev Bhatt writes open letter to Narendra Modi

According to state government records, more than 1,200 people were killed in the riots. Nearly 950 of them were Muslims.

However, a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was asked to determine whether Modi should be tried for his alleged role in the riots, said in its report in 2012 no prosecutable evidence was found against the then Gujarat CM.

In 2012, Bhatt's wife Shweta fought the Gujarat assembly elections on a Congress ticket against Modi, now the PM of the country, from Maninagar constituency, prompting the BJP to find political motives in Bhatt's campaign against the ruling dispensation.

When asked if he will challenge his sacking, Bhatt said he did not want to impose himself on the government. "A lot can be done (against the move) but whether it is worth challenging....Government does not want me, why I should be so keen that I want to remain in this," Bhatt said.

Read:SIT opposes Zakia's plea on Modi clean chit

Recently, the IPS officer was in news over a video CD that purportedly showed him with a woman. The government issued a showcause notice to him, demanding an explanation for his "extra-marital relationship". For his part, Bhatt said in his reply that the person in the video wasn't him.

In his Facebook post, Bhatt underlined his reactions to the removal from the Indian Police Service (IPS).

"All I have to say is that, at the age of 24, with a passion and fire that still continues to rage in me, I chose the Indian Police Service because I saw it as a career that would add action and purpose to my life. And I have not been disappointed one bit," he wrote.

(With agency inputs)

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