India

Sanjeev Bhatt Entitled to Apply for Bail: Guj Court

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: A court in Ahmedabad has ruled that arrested police officer Sanjiv Bhatt is entitled to apply for bail, NDTV reported.  The Gujarat Police had challenged this on the grounds that it has filed a parallel case that asks for Bhatt’s custody.

Whether Bhatt leaves jail will be decided later today.

He was arrested on Friday for coercing a constable to back his testimony against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Bhatt has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, alleging Modi of complicity in the riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002. As part of his affidavit, Bhatt included a statement made by D K Pant, a junior officer. Pant’s statement supported Bhatt’s claim that he was present at a meeting on February 27, 2002 when Modi asked senior policemen to go slow on rioters. Other policemen who attended that meeting on record have said Bhatt was not present. Pant’s statement said the opposite.

Later, Pant said that he had been threatened by Bhatt into supporting him.

A judge hearing Bhatt’s case for bail asked yesterday if he was willing to allow the police access to his bank lockers. The judge suggested that could help Bhatt get bail. However, the police officer refused. “There can be no compromise with the Modi government. This is a battle of principles. I am ready to remain in jail for however long it takes,” he told the court.

Bhatt was suspended from the police force in August for skipping work. The Congress party and activists in Gujarat accuse the Modi government of using the state machinery to persecute the police officer.

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