BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Close to the heals of IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s suspension following a public confrontation with the Gujarat Government over the 2002 post-Godhra riots, Gujarat Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Rahul Sharma was today served chargesheet for alleged misconduct in not submitting the original CDs containing cell phone call records related to the 2002 communal riots.
“Rahul Sharma has been served the copy of chargesheet today,” Gujarat government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas told media persons here.
Sharma confirmed that he has received the copy of the chargesheet. He was charge sheeted today after his notice period ended yesterday. Sharma was served the first notice on January 27. He was served the final notice on July 28 and was asked to file reply to the notice within 15 days.
The officer has been accused of gross misconduct under Sec 3(1) of All India Service Rules 1969.
He has been accused of not submitting the CDs containing phone call records during the riots to respective investigating officers of Naroda Gam, Naroda Patia and Gulburg Society case.
This move from the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat Government comes after Sharma did not toe the political line in the probe into the riots and subsequent encounters.
Sharma’s lawyer Mukul Sinha said: “This is shocking, we are studying the chargesheet. They have targeted any person who has spoken the truth about the riots.”
The chargesheet came a day after Home Mininister P Chidambaram said that the centre is willing to intervene in the IPS officers versus Gujarat Government fight. Chidambaram reiterated that there are rules which allow the Centre to intervene but only at the behest of the officer concerned.
“Rules do provide for central government to take certain decisions but this depends on officer concerned. If officer concerned raises it we can,” said Chidambaram.
In May 2002, Sharma was asked to assist the investigations into the Naroda Patia massacre (95 dead). As a part of the investigation, phone call data of the entire city of Ahmedabad was collected. This data revealed the links of political leaders with police officers and their movements during the peak of rioting.
The then joint commissioner of crime branch, P P Pande, had handed over a set of two CDs, containing the data, to Sharma and asked him to analyse the records. Sharma copied the same in his home computer on the hard-disk but before he could study them he was transferred to Vav, Surat. As per his statement before the Nanavati Commission, he had sent back the CDs to Pande through a police messenger just before relinquishing his charge.
Earlier, Sanjiv Bhatt, a 1988 batch IPS officer, was suspended on Monday and was placed under suspension by the Home Department in exercise of powers conferred by Rule 3(1) of All India Services (Discipline and Appeals) Rules, 1969.