Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sanjiv Bhatt Arrest: Citizens protest demanding release in many cities


NEW DELHI - Civil rights groups, students, teachers and activists have come together to stage protests in different parts of the country against ‘arbitrary and unconstitutional arrest’ of suspended DIG Sanjeev Bhatt by the Gujarat Police. According to Shabnam Hashmi of Anhad, protests were organised in over 40 cities across the country. The protesters demanded immediate release of Mr. Bhatt. 
In the capital, a protest was staged at Gujarat Bhawan at the Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri on Monday afternoon. “It’s a clear case of intimidation of whistle-blowers and shows totalitarian character of Modi regime”, said Delhi-based activist Mahtab Alam, adding “We are here to express our solidarity with Mr. Bhatt and his family”. The activists also submitted a memorandum to the Resident Commissioner for Governor of Gujarat at the Gujarat Bhawan seeking immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Bhatt.
Addressing the protest meeting outside Gujarat Bhawan, Filmmaker and Activist, Mahesh Bhatt said, “Sanjiv Bhatt's fault is that he dared to reveal the truth behind the 2002 carnage as also the murder of Haren Pandya.” Referring to his conversation with Sanjeev Bhatt, he said, “I spoke to Sanjiv the evening he was arrested, asking that since the worst had happened, what he needed to tell the world outside. He said it was now for the courts to ensure that the rule of law was imposed in Gujarat and the nation.” Mahesh Bhatt also appealed, “We as civil society should come together and fight this trend of communal and fascist mentality.”
Retired DIG and colleague of Sanjeev Bhatt, R B Shreekumar alleged, “The arrest of Sanjeev Bhatt is the peak of the policy followed by the Modi government since the conception, organisation, mobilisation and perpetration of an anti-Muslim carnage in 2002. Of all the actions, this is the most atrocious.” Shreekumar, who himself a victim of Modi further said, “After the 2002 carnage, the Modi government started terrorising the bureaucracy, including the senior police officer who dared to speak the truth.” “If electoral victory is the license for violating the Constitution, the rule of law then our freedom and democracy is under serious threat,” he added.
Activists Shabnam Hashmi, Himanshu Kumar, Sanjay Sharaf, Gauhar Raza, Sandeep Kumar, Faisal Khan, Maulana Ejaz Urfi, Shakeel Ahmed, Madhuresh Kumar, Vani and others also spoke on the occasion. Earlier a similar protest was staged at Jantar Mantar by Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Jan Shakti Party. “We want immediate release of Sanjeev Bhatt,” said Amanatullah Khan, a party factionary.  “Our party will launch a nation-wide campaign if Mr. Bhatt is not released,” he added.
While a  protest march was organized by Citizen Forum in Patna to show their solidarity with Sanjiv Bhatt.
Citizen forum held the view that the arrest of Sanjiv Bhatt was unwarranted and this is yet an attempt to quell those voices which rose to expose the Gujrat pogrom 2002.
It is worth to be noted that In April, this year, Sanjiv Bhatt had filed an affidavit in which he alleged that Chief Minister Narendra Modi was sole responsible for the 2002 riots. Since then Sanjiv Bhatt became an eye sore for the Narendra Modi.
More than hundreds men, women, youths, from across all sections of the society participated in the march which started from Akashwani rounabout via Patna Junction roundabout ended at Budh Smirti Park gate. The walk started with slogans like Fascist takte hosh me aao, Inquilab Zindabad, Narendra Modi Murdabad, sanjivBhatt zindabad etc.  
Prof Apoorvanand from Delhi University said Sanjiv Bhatt arrest is another recent example how Narendra Modi Govt has been trying to influence impartial probe of 2002 riots.
Whereas Prof Vinay Kanth from Patna University said fascist forces have been trying to impose its will at any cost over us. The situation is grim and we all should unite at this hour of need.
Social activist, Arshad Ajmal said the arrest was made with malafide intention and was full of malaise. We all should oppose in united voice.
The other prominent members and speakers present on this occasion were Sudha Verghese, Tanveer Akhatar, Pushpraj, Ashok, mahendra Yadav, Binod Kumar, Prem Nath, Dr Shakeel, Ashok Priyadarshi, Vishwajit, Rajkumar, Anish Ankur, Anil Kumar Chand, Shehela, Visakha, Rupesh kumar, Sarfaraz etc.  

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