I have never worked with the IPS officer, says Brahmbhatt

The head constable of the Gujarat police, Naresh Brahmbhatt, who lost his job for eulogising the “courage” of Sanjiv Bhatt for filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court against Chief Minister Narendra Modi, has never worked with the IPS officer nor has he any knowledge of Mr. Bhatt's personality.

“I had only congratulated him for showing the courage and my services was terminated,” Mr. Brahmbhatt said. He said he was currently busy with a marriage in the family and once it was over, he would submit an application to the department for reinstatement.

Mr. Brahmbhatt denied a report in a section of the media that he was a witness to Mr. Bhatt having attended the controversial meeting at the residence of the Chief Minister on the night of February 27, 2002, in which Mr. Modi reportedly issued a “directive” to the top police officers to “allow the Hindus to vent their anger” and that the “Muslins should be taught a lesson.”

Mr. Bhatt in his affidavit claimed that as a Deputy Commissioner in the State Intelligence Bureau then, he was asked to accompany the then State Director General of Police, K. Chakravarthi, at the meeting convened by Mr. Modi at his residence on the night of the Godhra train carnage. He quoted Mr. Modi's controversial anti-Muslim statements in his affidavit as his first-hand report. Mr. Chakravarthi has since denied that Mr. Bhatt was present at the meeting.

Mr. Brahmbhatt, however, said he was aware that Mr. Bhatt had left his residence that night to attend “some meeting” but he did not know whether it was the same meeting that Mr. Bhatt had referred to in his affidavit. According to Mr. Brahmbhatt, he was then posted as a constable at the Memnagar police chowky under the Ghatlodia police station and had received a call from the State police control room asking him to check the whereabouts of Mr Bhatt.

He said he was told by the police control room that Mr. Bhatt was “expected in a meeting” but had not reached and could not be contacted. He was told to personally enquire at his residence in Memnagar locality to find his whereabouts. “I went to his residence and was told that Mr. Bhatt had left 10 minutes ago for a meeting.” He informed the police control room accordingly and recorded his movement in the police diary as required, he said.

He said neither did the police control room tell him that Mr. Bhatt was expected at the Chief Minister's residence nor was he told by anyone at his residence that he had left for Mr. Modi's meeting. “You know the police control room never tells you about the movements of the officers,” he said. It was certain that Mr. Bhatt had left his residence to attend “some meeting” that night but he was not aware whether it was the meeting at the CM's residence. Neither could he vouchsafe that Mr. Bhatt was present at the controversial meeting.