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Former Gujarat cop Sanjiv Bhatt arrested in 22-year-old case

Bhatt had allegedly falsely implicated a Rajasthan-based lawyer Surmersingh Rajpurohit, on charges of possessing around a kilogram of drugs in 1996 when he was the superintendent of police in Banaskanth.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2018 17:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Ahmedabad
sanjeev bhatt,gujarat HC,gujarat CID
The Gujarat Police on Wednesday arrested former IPS officer Bhatt in connection with a 22-year-old case. (HT Fiel Photo )

Sacked Indian Police Service officer Sanjiv Bhatt was arrested on Wednesday by police in Gujarat in connection with the arrest of a man for allegedly possessing drugs 22 years ago, officials said.

The crime investigation department of Gujarat police arrested Bhatt following a probe ordered into the case by the Gujarat High Court in June. The high court had asked the department to complete the probe in three months. Bhatt was dismissed from the services in 2015.

Sources in the CID said six other people, including two former policemen, have also been detained for questioning in the case. The case also involved a retired Gujarat High Court judge.

Bhatt had allegedly falsely implicated a Rajasthan-based lawyer Surmersingh Rajpurohit, on charges of possessing around a kilogram of drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at Palanpur in 1996 when he was the superintendent of police in Banaskantha.

Banaskanta Police had claimed that the drug was found in a hotel room occupied by Rajpurohit in the district’s Palanpur town. However, a probe by the Rajasthan police revealed that Rajpurohit was allegedly falsely implicated and that he was reportedly abducted by the Banaskatha Police from his residence in Pali.

Bhatt, the 1988 batch officer of Gujarat cadre, was suspended by the Gujarat government after he filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court contending that he “had attended the meeting held by the then chief minister of Gujarat Modi, who had asked the top police officials to let Hindus vent out their anger against the minority community following the attack on the Sabarmati Express in which 59 Hindus were torched to death near the Godhra railway station.”

Bhatt, whose tenure has remained controversial, had also accused the Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team formed to probe the Gujarat riots case of “shielding Mr Modi and top-ranking police officials of Gujarat.” He was sacked by the Union ministry of home affairs in August 2015 for “unauthorised absence” from service.

His wife Sweta Bhatt had contested the assembly election in 2012 from Maninagar and lost to the then chief minister Modi.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 13:56 IST