Gujarat govt withdraws security cover of IPS officer who deposed against Modi

Days after he submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court to say Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wanted "Muslims taught a lesson" for "the burning of kar sevaks at Godhra" in 2002, IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's security detail was withdrawn on the orders of the state Director General of Police. Instead of four guards, he will now have a lone policeman guarding him.

"There is no way I am going to allow this. My family needs to be protected," Bhatt told The Indian Express, saying he was drafting a reply to the DGP.

Bhatt had been recommended Y-category security — it comprises a security team of 11, including seven armed guards outside the house — after police intelligence underlined the threat he faced in view of his disclosures to the Special Investigation Team probing the riots cases.

Since no decision had been taken on providing him Y-category cover, he had made his own security arrangement at his residence, using four men drawn from the SRP Training College where he is currently posted as Principal.

But the Gujarat Police today decided that Bhatt and and his family could do with only one policeman as guard.

DGP Chitranjan Singh told The Indian Express: "We have provided an armed constable from Ahmedabad Police at his residence on his request for security." He declined to discuss the issue any further.

Bhatt has been writing to the state government for months, seeking adequate security for himself and his family. Last Sunday, a man who heckled him and claimed to be a Modi fan, was arrested by police.

Bhatt said he had also written to the SIT for security cover. "I wrote to (SIT chief R K) Raghavan stating that since I have made revelations that may upset the Modi government, I need protection for myself and my family. The SC had made it mandatory to provide security to witnesses who are deposing before SIT," he said, adding that there had been no response so far.

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