The Gujarat government's confrontation with whistle-blower IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt intensified on Friday, as the police arrested him for his affidavit on chief minister Narendra Modi's alleged complicity during the 2002 riots.
The reason for the arrest was that KD Pant, a constable who was Bhatt's driver, had accused him of forcing him to support his claim on the state government's alleged connivance in the affidavit before the Supreme Court.
Bhatt was arrested for forcing a constable to file false affidavit supporting Bhatt's claim that he was present in the meeting of chief ministers where Modi asked police to go slow during 2002 riots.
Earlier, Pant had lodged a complaint against Bhatt for threatening him and making him sign false affidavit regarding a meeting called by the chief minister on February 27, 2002.
Following this complaint by Pant, who worked under Bhatt during 2002 riots, the Ghatlodia police registered an FIR against Bhatt for threatening a public servant, fabricating false evidence, wrongful confinement.
According to Pant's FIR, on June 16, he got a call from Bhatt asking him to come to his residence for some work.
When he reached his place, Bhatt told him that amicus curiae from the Supreme Court was coming on June 18 and they had to meet him to record a statement.
Pant has alleged that Bhatt asked him to tell the amicus curiae that SIT had forcefully recorded his statement. When Pant resisted, Bhatt threatened him and said that there was no need to worry if Pant did what he was told.
He has further alleged that Bhatt took him to meet the state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia at his residence. Modhwadia also assured him that there was no need to worry and he should do what Bhatt was asking.
After meeting Modhwadia, Bhatt took Pant to an office of an advocate and notary near the Gujarat high court and made him sign two sets of affidavits.
The arrest of Bhatt - who had already been suspended by the government - came three days after he claimed in another affidavit that he had "documentary evidence" of the role of some politicians and police officials in former state home minister Haren Pandya's murder.
Ahmedabad police chief Sudhir Sinha told HT: "He has been charged with threatening a public servant, fabricating evidence and wrongful confinement."
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "No state government can tolerate the indiscipline and non-accountability of IAS or IPS officers."Is Bhatt's arrest justified? | Bhatt's open letter | The man who took on Narendra Modi | Watch video