New Delhi: The first ever legal testimony recorded against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged involvement in the Gujarat riots was cut short yesterday when the witness, DIG Sanjiv Bhatt, was in the middle of his narrative on events preceding the murder of former Congress MP Ahsan Jafri at Gulberg Society.
According to sources, the three officers of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) recording Bhatt’s statement in Gandhinagar under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code went for lunch just when the witness finished talking about the second meeting held by the chief minister with the police on February 28, 2002, the day after the Godhra incident.
But after conferring with the SIT’s legal adviser K G Menon for about an hour, the team did not pick up the threads of the narrative from where it had stopped before the break. Instead, the SIT functionaries, Y C Modi, A K Malhotra and Himanshu Shukla, wound up the examination for the day after grilling Bhatt on why he had never before made any of those allegations against Modi.
The whistle-blower said, thanks to the SIT’s summons in connection with the Gulberg case, he was for the first time in nine years under a legal obligation to disclose the inside information he had been privy to as an intelligence officer and as a participant in the meetings with Modi before and during the riots.
Before his testimony was came to a halt, Bhatt told SIT he had warned Modi twice on February 28 about the danger to Jafri. The first time was through a phone call at 11.30 am and the second was at a meeting called by Modi at 2 pm, where Modi agreed to call in the Army. Bhatt said that after the meeting Modi asked him to check if Jafri had a record of firing at Hindus.