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Bhatt seeks probe into claim that riot papers were 'destroyed'


Updated: November 10, 2012, 12:14 AM IST
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Bhatt seeks probe into claim that riot papers were 'destroyed'
The Gujarat government had admitted before the Nanavati Commission that some of the documents related to riots were destroyed by it 'in routine course'.

Ahmedabad: Raising doubts over the Gujarat government's claims that some 2002 post-Godhra riots-related intelligence documents were destroyed 'in routine course', suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt on Friday sought a "high-level investigation" into the matter. Bhatt filed an application before the Justice GT Nanavati Commission describing the chronology of events starting with his deposition in June 2011 before the panel, when a state government counsel first claimed that the documents were destroyed, till a recent affidavit filed by the state with the probe panel.

He requested the commission to investigate into the claim of the destruction of records as also in order to unearth other documents, which have been "falsely claimed as not being maintained".

Finding faults with the averment made in the recent government affidavit, Bhatt has requested the commission to "urgently institute an independent high-level investigation into the exercise of its powers under section 5A of the Commission of the Inquiry Act". The commission has fixed the hearing of the application filed by Bhatt on December 23.

Recently, Bhatt, jointly with NGO People's Union for the Civil Liberty (PUCL) had filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court to get the access of certain 2002 riot-related documents, which were, as claimed by him, repeatedly denied to him both by the state government and the commission. While disposing of the PIL, the court has directed the state to produce documents sought by Bhatt before the commission and then directed him to conduct the inspection, following which, he will have to file an affidavit on that basis.

On November 2, the Gujarat government had admitted before the Nanavati Commission that some of the documents related to riots were destroyed by it 'in routine course'. Meanwhile, when Bhatt sought inspection of such documents, the commission informed him that as per a letter sent by ADGP (Intelligence) some documents had been destroyed 'in routine course' by the authorities.

Pursuant to the direction of the commission, JK Bhatt, DIG (Intelligence) had filed an affidavit on November 6 and gave status of the 47 documents sought to be inspected by Bhatt. Citing the affidavit, Bhatt had alleged, "The government has, for the first time, placed on record the manner in which documents are required to be classified for preservation and authorised destruction, but has refused to disclose the manner and basis, on which it has classified all the 47 documents sought by him."

On the basis of details pertaining to when those documents were destroyed, Bhatt has alleged that the state authorities have systematically embarked on the destruction of certain documents.

"Duty registers of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) Control Room, the Staff Attendance Registers of the SIB Control Room and the Leave/Leave Resumption Registers of the Control Room and all Branches of the SIB are claimed to have been destroyed only after the leakage of my testimony before the SIT (formed by SC to probe 2002 riot cases) to higher echelons of the government," Bhatt alleged.

First Published: November 10, 2012, 12:14 AM IST
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