The Gujarat government has decided to chargesheet a state cadre IPS officer, Rahul Sharma, for passing on records of calls made during the 2002 riots in the state, to the Nanavati Commission, without any official clearance.
Sharma, incidentally, was the deputy superintendent of police of Bhavnagar during the post-Godhra riots, and had led from the front to prevent the town from being engulfed into the communal frenzy. His prompt action against the rioting elements is believed to have left Bhavnagar unscathed.
Ironically, he was transferred soon after the riots to the police control room in Ahmedabad. It was here that he was asked to assist the investigations into the Naroda Patiya massacre. He collected the call records pertaining to all key numbers of Ahmedabad. The data proved a damning evidence of the call traffic between key elements who led the riots, including political leaders and those holding important positions in the state government and police.
Even though Sharma was subjected to yet another transfer thereafter, the call records and its analysis, backed by eyewitness accounts, led the Supreme Court-appointed SIT to nail former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and VHP general secretary Jaydeep Patel in 2009.
Sharma, who had handed over copies of the CDs of call records to the Nanavati panel, which probed the Gujarat riots, during his deposition before it, now faces charges of violation of the Official Secrets Act, by not getting prior clearance from the state government. The proposed chargesheet against him was cleared at the highest level in the state on Thursday, according to sources in Gandhinagar.
Sharma is currently holding the post of DIG, armed units, headquartered at Rajkot.
The Congress slammed the Gujarat government’s proposed action against the senior police officer, and requested the the Supreme Court to take serious cognizance of the development.
“The government is doing everything so that facts about the Gujarat massacre remain buried forever,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
Information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni accused the Narendra Modi regime of trying to suppress people’s opinion. Economic Times