In the case of fabricating evidence to frame people in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots, a Special Investigation Team of the Gujarat Police filed a chargesheet on Wednesday. In the said chargesheet that runs over a hundred pages, the SIT has named activist Teesta Setalvad, retired DGP R.B. Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.
On June 24, Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri was killed during the riots in Ahmedabad, challenging the SIT’s clean chit to 64 people in the riots, including the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The bench while dismissing the plea, had said that there was coalesced effort by Setalvad and other accused- former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to create a sensation by making ‘revelations that were false to their own knowledge’.
Subsequently, an FIR was registered against them under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 194 (fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offences). While Bhatt was already in jail for another criminal matter, Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested within days of the registration of the FIR.
‘All reasons to believe there was a conspiracy’
In the chargesheet, now filed, the SIT has stated that during the course of the investigation, they had gathered several documentary proofs. Citing the proof, which included mail trails between Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt, the Gujarat Police has highlighted that it has ‘all the reasons’ to believe that there was a deep conspiracy of fabricating evidence and framing the then CM of Gujarat, and now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As per the chargesheet, besides Setalvad, Sreekmar and Bhatt were also involved in pressurising the witnesses into giving false statements. A witness had also revealed that he was told by Sreekumar – ‘to cooperate with Teesta otherwise he will be targeted by Muslims’ and that if he does cooperate ‘we can all take Modi down’.