New Delhi : Labeed Shafi, President SIO of India, has raised concerns regarding the conviction of Sanjiv Bhatt. He has called it a case of vindictive prosecution and punishment for speaking the truth.

The conviction of Sanjiv Bhat in a case of custodial death dating back to his posting in Jamnagar as an ASP in 1990 has raised several questions. The deceased was a member of the VHP and part of 133 people who had been detained by Jamnagar police for rioting. He passed away 10 days after being released on bail, and in all this time he never made any complaint of torture or mistreatment against Sanjiv Bhatt or any of the other police officers. The complaint against him was filed only later on by a local VHP leader.

Even after the complaint was filed, the CID had conducted an investigation and found no evidence against Sanjiv Bhatt. Till 2011, the case had been virtually forgotten by everyone, including he complainant. Only after Sajiv Bhatt gave evidence regarding the role of Narendra Modi and other ministers and high-ranking officials of Gujarat government in the 2002 riots, did the Gujarat government decide to reopen this case. Sanjiv Bhatt’s truthful testimony before the Supreme Court directly lead the full machinery of the Guajrat government to suddenly take an interest in this case.

The manner in which this trial was conducted has also been suspicious from the beginning. The prosecution only examined 32 of 300 witnesses in the case, and Sanjiv Bhatt’s request to call witnesses for his defense was repeatedly denied.

It has been very clear from the beginning that the trials and tribulations of Sanjiv Bhatt are a direct result of his damning testimony linking Narendra Modi to the Gujarat riots. Like many others, he has been punished for speaking out.

Media Department, SIO of India
Syed Ahmed Ali(National Secretary, SIO of India)
Email: [email protected]