On June 20, 2019, Gujarat’s former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt was sentenced to life imprisonment by a local court in a custodial death case, which goes back to 1990. Along with him a constable, too, was awarded the same sentence.
Sanjeev Bhatt is the same officer who had filed an affidavit in Supreme Court accusing Narendra Modi—the then Chief Minister of Gujarat—of “complicity in the 2002 riots”, which claimed the lives of over 1,200 people mostly Muslims, including women and children. The tragic riots were full of heinous crimes, one such being the gang rape of Bilkis Bano. The riots exposed how the entire government was involved in this state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of the Muslim community. But exposing their involvement has come with a cost for Bhatt.
Rakesh Asthana, another IPS officer from Gujarat, who was the police commissioner in Surat during Modi’s chief ministership, was appointed as a special director in CBI due to his long association with Modi. His appointment was controversial as he did not meet eligibility criteria, which was challenged in SC by an NGO. He was later moved out of CBI after being involved in a bribery case. Another example is DG Vanzara, the former inspector general who carried out the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan. He was subsequently acquitted by the blessings of the BJP government. Many officers have been punished for upholding their integrity—while those who compromised have been rewarded with promotions in the past many years.
Investigative journalist Rana Ayyub, published a book: “Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover-Up,” exposing the complicity of the officers and BJP leaders including Amit Shah, in the Gujarat genocide. Rana Ayyub interviewed the masterminds of the Gujarat riots making videos of people talking proudly about killing Muslims and raping women.
All these are well documented facts, instances and indications which prove how the secular ethos of our democracy, and the justice system of India are being destroyed in broad daylight under the current regime.