BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Civil rights groups, students, teachers and activists have come together to stage protests in different parts of the country against “arbitrary and unconstitutional arrest” of suspended DIG Sanjeev Bhatt by the Gujarat Police. According to Shabnam Hashmi of Delhi-based NGO Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), protests were organised in over 40 cities across the country. The protesters demanded immediate release of Bhatt.
In the national capital, a protest was organized at Gujarat Bhawan on Monday afternoon. “It is a clear case of intimidation of whistle-blowers and shows totalitarian character of the Modi regime,” said Delhi-based activist Mahtab Alam, adding that “we are here to express our solidarity with Mr Bhatt and his family.”
The activists also submitted a memorandum to the resident commissioner for governor of Gujarat at the Gujarat Bhawan seeking immediate and unconditional release of the IPS officer.
Addressing the protest meeting, filmmaker and activist Mahesh Bhatt said, “Sanjiv Bhatt’s fault is that he dared to reveal the truth behind the 2002 carnage as also the murder of Haren Pandya.”
Referring to his conversation with Sanjeev Bhatt, he said, “I spoke to Sanjiv the evening he was arrested, asking that since the worst had happened, what he needed to tell the world outside. He replied that it was now for the courts to ensure that the rule of law was imposed in Gujarat and the nation.”
Mahesh Bhatt also appealed, “We as a civil society should come together and fight this trend of communal and fascist mentality.”
Retired DIG and colleague of Sanjeev Bhatt, R B Shreekumar alleged, “The arrest of Sanjeev Bhatt is the peak of the policy followed by the Modi government since the conception, organisation, mobilisation and perpetration of an anti-Muslim carnage in 2002. Of all the actions, this is the most atrocious.”
Shreekumar, who himself is a victim of Modi, further said, “After the 2002 carnage, the Modi government started terrorising the bureaucracy, including the senior police officer who dared to speak the truth.
“If electoral victory is the license for violating the constitution, the rule of law, our freedom and democracy are under serious threat,” he added.
Activists Shabnam Hashmi, Himanshu Kumar, Sanjay Sharaf, Gauhar Raza, Sandeep Kumar, Faisal Khan, Maulana Ejaz Urfi, Shakeel Ahmed, Madhuresh Kumar, Vani and others also spoke on the occasion. Earlier a similar protest was staged at Jantar Mantar by Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Jan Shakti Party.
“We want immediate release of Sanjeev Bhatt,” said Amanatullah Khan, a party functionary. “Our party will launch a nation-wide campaign if Mr Bhatt is not released,” he added.