A day after the Supreme Court said that false allegations of ‘larger conspiracy’ were made in the Gujarat riots case, Gujarat police have filed a case against former IPS officers Sanjiv Bhatt and R B Sreekumar, and activist Teesta Setalvad.
The crime branch of Ahmedabad police has booked the three under sections 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged document or record as genuine), 194 (Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence), 211 (False charge of offence made with intent to injure), 218 (Public servant framing incorrect record), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the India Penal Code.
In the FIR, it has been said that the accused had tried to create sensation by making false claims on the Gujarat riots. The falsity of their claims had been fully exposed by the SIT after through investigation, the FIR says. It adds that the proceedings have been pursued for the last 16 years, including with the audacity to question the integrity of every functionary involved in the process of exposing the devious stratagem adopted to keep the pot boiling, obviously for ulterior design.
All those involved in such abuse of process need to be in the dock and proceed with in accordance with law, the FIR further states.
It states that the case relates to the petition filed by Jakia Jafri challenging the clean chit given to Narendra Modi by the SIT. The Supreme Court has rejected the petition, saying that the SIT probe was done under the supervision of the Supreme Court, and it can’t be questioned.
Among the three named in the FIR, former DGP R B Sreekumar and Teesta Setalvad have already been arrested today. Teesta was arrested by Gujarat police from her home in the Juhu area in Mumbai at around 3 pm on Saturday. Similarly, Sreekumar also have been taken to the crime branch in Ahmedabad. After his retirement, he was working with Teesta on the 2002 Gujarat riots cases. He is also a leader in AAP, which he had joined in 2014.
Sanjiv Bhatt is already in jail as he was convicted in a custodial death case.
In its judgement rejecting the Jakia Jafri’s petition, the Supreme Court had said that the testimony given by Sanjiv Bhatt, Haren Pandya and R.B. Sreekumar was only meant to sensationalise and politicise the matters. The court had said that their testimonies were ‘replete with falsehood.’
Sanjib Bhatt had claimed that he was present in a meeting chaired by then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, and had claimed that Modi had asked police officers to go slow on acting against Hindu rioters to vent their anger due to the Godhra train burning incident. RP Sreekumar had also made the same claims in his testimony.
However, the SC appointed SIT had found that Sanjib Bhatt not present in the meeting that took place on 27 February in 2002. Late Haren Pandya, who also made the claims, was also not present in that meeting. The SIT had said that the allegations of ‘larger conspiracy’ were all false claims set up by Sanjiv Bhatt.
Similarly, the testimony of RB Sreekumar was not based on his personal knowledge, but they were on what he had heard from others after he was posted at the Additional Director General (Intelligence) in April, 2002.