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"I was given unconstitutional directives"

Jyotirmaya Sharma

Gujarat's Additional Director General of Police, R.B. Sreekumar, has made serious allegations against Chief Minister Narendra Modi and senior officers.Exclusive

Gujarat's Additional Director General of Police, Police Reforms, R.B. Sreekumar, has submitted a petition (OA 213/2005) before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ahmedabad Bench, against his supersession in February 2005 to the rank of Director General (DG). Chief Minister Narendra Modi is one of the respondents. It is also reliably learnt that Mr. Sreekumar has filed a third affidavit before the Shah-Nanavati Commission.

In his petition, Mr. Sreekumar has alleged harassment and victimisation for his deposition on two earlier instances before the Justice G.T. Nanavati and Justice K.G. Shah Commission, which is investigating the Godhra train tragedy of February 2002 and the communal conflagration that followed the incident.

Mr. Sreekumar was put in charge of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) soon after the Godhra tragedy, on April 9, 2002, and served in that position until September 17, 2002.

A significant enclosure in the petition is the official register of verbal instructions received by Mr. Sreekumar from Mr. Modi and senior bureaucrats and police officers. This register has been numbered and certified by the then IGP (Administration & Security), SIB, O.P. Mathur.

Mr. Sreekumar has alleged that these verbal directions were in the nature of "illegal and unconstitutional" directives. These alleged acts include tapping the phone of the former Chief Minister, Shankarsinh Waghela; asking him to desist from collecting intelligence about the sangh parivar and its activities; throwing Muslims out of relief camps; tracking the mobile number of Haren Pandya, then a Minister in the Modi Government, and the history of calls made from that number; and asking Mr. Sreekumar not to offer a correct assessment to the Central Election Commission on the communal situation in Gujarat.

In Annexure B of the petition, Mr. Sreekumar also offers evidence of pressure from senior officers in the Gujarat Government (following his earlier depositions before the Commission) asking him to conceal facts from the Commission; to accept the conspiracy theory regarding the train fire in Godhra; and not to divulge any data on lapses on the part of government functionaries.

He was also allegedly asked not to comment on the lack of action on the part of the Government over the reports he sent as Additional Director General (SIB), and not to provide any additional information that might result in the Commission summoning more government functionaries. He was allegedly threatened that if he gave evidence damaging to the State Government, he would "be declared a hostile witness and dealt with suitably later."

Mr. Sreekumar's petition includes a verbatim version of the meeting held on August 24, 2004, between G.C. Murmu, Secretary (Law & Order), Home Department, Arvind Pandya, the Gujarat Government's Pleader before the Commission, and Mr. Sreekumar.

In this version, there are several derogatory references to the Supreme Court, as well as the futility of the Shah-Nanavati Commission. There is also a mention made by Mr. Pandya about the need to brief Bhargava, the lawyer representing the Bharatiya Janata Party before the Commission, about what happened between Mr. Murmu, Mr. Pandya, and Mr. Sreekumar.

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