SIT report uncovers the murky world of anti-Modi cottage industry, where cops, journalists, NGOs, politicians are in nexus
(our Thanks to DeshGujarat.com and Japan Pathak)
Ahmedabad, 9 May 2012
In its closure report, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has clearly expressed an opinion that “certain vested interests including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs, and some political leaders were trying to use honorable Supreme Court/SIT as a forum for settling their scores”. The SIT has in its report noted that “Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been colluding with the persons with vested interests to see that some kind of charge-sheet is filed against Shri Narendra Modi and others.” The report has quoted some email communications of Sanjiv Bhatt that clearly make a point that Bhatt had attempted to influence Amicas Curiae through NGOs, media campaign and pressure groups.
The SIT in it report says: Government of Gujarat vide its letter dated 22-6-2011 forwarded a set of emails exchanged between Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG, Gujarat Police and certain individuals during April and May 2011. It was mentioned in the above letter that during the course of an inquiry instituted against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS by DG (Civil Defense), Gujarat regarding misuse of official resources, some revelations have been made having direct bearing on the cases being monitored by SIT. The material forwarded by Govt. of Gujarat has been scrutinized and the salient features of the same are summarized as below:
(1) That top Congress leaders of Gujarat namely Shri Shaktisinh Gohil, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly and Shri Arjun Modhwadia, President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee are in constant touch with Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, DIG. They are providing him ‘packages’, certain materials and also legal assistance. Further, on 28-04-2011 Shri Sanjiv Bhatt exchanged mails with Shri Shaktisinh Gohil and the former gave point for arguments in honorable Supreme Court matter, allegations to be made against the members of SIT and to establish that the burning of a coach of a Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station was not a conspiracy. From the emails, it appears that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was holding personal meetings with senior mentions that he was ‘under exploited’ by the lawyer representing Congress before Nanavati Commission of inquiry.
2. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been persuading various NGOs and other interested groups to influence the Ld. Amicus Curiae and the honorable Supreme Court of India by using ‘media card’ and ‘pressure groups’.
3. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been exchanging emails with one Nasir Chippa and in the email dated 11-5-2011 Shri Bhatt has stated that he (Nasir Chipa) should try to mobilize support/pressure-groups in Delhi to influence Ld. Amicus Curiae Shri Raju Ramchandran in a very subtle manner. In another email dated 18-5-2011, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had requested Shri Nasir Chippa to influence Home Minister Shri P.Chidambaram through pressure groups in U.S. It is believed that Shri Nasir Chippa has strong U.S. connections and his family stays there.
4. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt arranged an appeal from Shri M.Hassan Jowher, who runs a so called NGO titled SPRAT(Society for Promoting Rationality) to Amicus Curiae on 13-5-2011, to call Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS, Shri Rajnish Rai, IPS, Shri Satish Verma, IPS, Shri Kuldeep Sharma, IPS and Shri Rahul Sharma, IPS (all police officers of Gujarat) to tender their version of the Gujarat story. It may be mentioned here that the draft for the said appeal was sent by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt himself to Shri Jowher, Further, a copy of this mail was circulated by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt to Ms. Shabnam Hashmi, Ms. Teesta Setalwad, Shri Himanshu Thakker, journalist, Shri Leo Saldana, journalist and Shri Nasir Chippa to encourage the prominent persons/organizations to write to Amicus Curiae on the similar lines so as to pressurize him.
5. In emails exchanged on June 1, 2011 between Shri Sanjiv Bhatt and Shri M.H.Jowher, it was proposed that a PIL may be field through a lawyer named Shri K.Vakharia( a senior advocate and chairman of legal cell of Congress party in Gujarat) in the Gujarat High Court for providing security to Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. It was also proposed that another complaint may be filed with the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad city against Shri Narendra Modi and others for his alleged involvement in 2002 riots which would be taken to appropriate judicial forums in due course.
6.That Ms. Teesta Setalwad, her lawyer Shri Mihir Desai and Journalist Shri Manoj Mitta of Times of India were in constant touch with Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS and were instrumental in arranging / drafting of the affidavit for filing the same in honorable Supreme court. Vide email dated 10-4-2011, Shri Bhatt solicited “Co-ordinates” from Ms. Teesta Setalwad, who had also arranged for a meeting with her lawyer Shri Mihir Desai at Ellis bridge Gymkhana, Ahmedabad. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt sent the first draft of his proposed affidavit to Shri Manoj Mitta on 13-4-2011, after meeting Shri Mihir Desai, Advocate and invited his suggestions. Shri Manoj Mitta advised Shri Sanjiv Bhatt to incorporate a few more paragraphs drafted by him which were incorporated by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt in his final affidavit sent to honorable Supreme Court of India as suggested by Shri Mitta.
7. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was instrumental in arranging an affidavit of one Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary, a journalist, to corroborate his claim that he had gone to attend a meeting called by the Chief Minister at his residence in the night of 27-2-2002. Significantly, Shri Bhatt had sent his mobile phone details of 27-2-2002 to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary and had also suggested that probable timings of his meeting to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary on 15-5-2011. Simultaneously, these details were sent to Ms. Teesta Setalwad on 16-5-2011, for drafting the document, presumably the affidavit to be filed by Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt sent an email to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary that the said affidavit could be leaked out to the print media which would force the Amicus Curiae and honorable Supreme Court to take notice of the same. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt also sent another email to Shri Shubhranshu Chaudhary, in which he has stated that they should play the ‘media trick’ so that affidavit is taken seriously by Amicus Curiae and the honorable Supreme Court.
8. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been exchanging emails with one Leo Saldana, a Narmada Bachao Andolan activist, with a view to mobilize public opinion in their favor. On 1-5-2011, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had sent an email to the latter to the effect that what they needed to do at this stage was to create a situation, where it would be difficult for three judges Supreme Court bench to disregard the ‘shortcomings of SIT under stewardship of Mr. Raghavan’ and that the pressure groups and opinion makers in Delhi could be of great help in forwarding the cause. He has further stated in the mail that he was hopeful that things would start turning around from the next hearing, if proper pressure was maintained at national level.
9.That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was trying to contact Shri K.S.Subramanyam, a retired IPS officer, through Shri Nasir Chippato make an affidavit supporting his stand with a view to convince the Amicus Curiae and through him the honorable Supreme Court of India that Shri K.Chakravarthi, former DGP of Gujarat, was a liar.
10. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been taking advice of Ms. Teesta Setalwad in connection with his evidence before Nanavati Commission of inquiry. He had also been in touch with various journalists, NGOs and had been forwarding his representations, applications and other documents through email, whereas on the other side he had been claiming privilege that being an intelligence officer he was duty bound not to disclose anything unless, he was legally compelled to do so.
11. That Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been maintaining a close contact with Shri Rahul Sharma, DIG of Gujarat Police and had been getting his mobile phone calls analyzed with a view to ascertain his own movements of 27-2-2002. This shows that Bhatt does not recollect his movements on that day. He has also been trying to ascertain the movements of Late Haren Pandya, the then minister of state for Revenue on 27-2-2002, with a view to introduce him as a participant of the meeting of 27-2-2002 held at CM’s residence, but could not do so, as Shri Rahul Sharma had informed him after the analysis that there was absolutely no question of Late Haren Pandya being at Gandhinagar on 27-2-2002 night.
From the study of emails, it appears that certain vested interests including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs, and some political leaders were trying to use honorable Supreme Court/SIT as a forum for settling their scores.This would also go to show that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had been colluding with the persons with vested interests to see that some kind of charge-sheet is filed against Shri Narendra Modi and others.
By Japan K Pathak, 24 October, 2011
While Haj yatra is on and 6,000 Haj yatris are in process to leave for Haj from Ahmedabad airport, following details about Haj yatra and central government’s spending on Haj yatra are interesting. In this article, there’s also a comparison between the figures of central government’s spending for Haj yatra and for Kailash Mansarovar yatra.
In March 2011, in reply to a question asked by Lok Sabha member Shri Setti Raju alias Devappa Anna about budgetary provisions made and utilized by the Government on pilgrimage to Haj, Kailash Mansarovar and other religious places during the last three years and the current year, central External affairs minister Paramjit Kaur Gulshan replied: “The Government of India makes exhaustive arrangements to facilitate the pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia through the Haj Committee of India and facilitates provision of accommodation and other logistical support for them.”
She further said, “Doctors, Nurses and other paramedical staff, Coordinators, Assistant Haj Officers, Haj Assistants and Khadim-ul-Hujjaj are sent from India on short-term deputation to Saudi Arabia. A hospital in Makkah and branch offices – cum – dispensaries in Makkah and Madina are set up for Haj pilgrims.”
She added, “the Haj Committee of India is providing to the pilgrims information regarding confirmation of their seats, travel documents, transportation, etc. For Haj-2010, two more embarkation points viz Bhopal and Goa were added to the already existing 19 embarkation points spread across the country. With effect from Haj – 2010, seats are being allotted on confirmed basis to those applicants who have been rejected continuously for last three years in Qurrah.It is the constant endeavor of the Government to keep making improvements in the arrangements made for the Haj pilgrims and provide them with better facilities after taking into account the feedback received from all concerned.”
The minister gave following detail about central government’s expenses for Haj.
Expenditure on Haj
|2007-08||Rs. 27 .01 crores||Rs. 32.30 crore|
|2008-09||Rs. 34. 56 crores||Rs. 32.82 crore|
|2009-10||Rs. 37.82 crores||Rs. 30.49 crore|
|2010-11 (till February 2011)||Rs. 41.89 crores||Rs. 28.86 crore|
However the figures presented above do not cover the subsidy expenses.
The detail of subsidy figures is actually available from another answer given to Lok Sabha MP Radhey Mohan Singh, by minister of overseas Indian affairs and civil aviation Shri Vayalar Ravi on 9 March, 2011.
The minister stated: “Ministry of Civil Aviation makes arrangements for air travel of pilgrims proceeding for Haj through Haj Committee of India. For Haj 2008 and 2009, each adult pilgrim paid Rs.12000/- as fare and Rs.16000/- for Haj 2010 for Haj Charter Flight. The balance cost of operating Haj Charter Flights was borne by the Government. State-wise figures of cost are not maintained. The provisional total cost (including Service Tax) and per pilgrim cost borne by the Government for last three years is as under”
Year – 2007 – Total Cost borne by Government Rs. 476.74 crore. Per pilgrim cost Rs. 43,340
Year – 2008 – Total Cost borne by Government Rs. 894.77 crore. Per pilgrim cost Rs. 73,526
Year – 2009 – Total Cost borne by Government Rs. 689.91 crore. Per pilgrim cost Rs. 57,430
The minister added that for Haj 2010, the Government has so far(means till March 2011) released an amount of Rs.580/- crores towards cost of travel of 1,26,191 pilgrims.
The minister also added: “out of the total airfare, a nominal amount of fare is collected from the Haj pilgrims to make Haj Yatra more affordable. The pilgrims are carried from/to 21 embarkation points in India. This year, except from Srinagar and Patna which had technical constraints, the pilgrims were carried by direct flights. Specific provisions like facilities to be provided to pilgrims before and after boarding of flights, on cancellation/delay of flights, baggage etc. are provided in the MOU signed with the airlines. Assistance of various kinds are also made available during their stay in Saudi Arabia.”
This clearly means that while government spent Rs 73,526 for Haj yatra of each Indian Muslim(in 2008) selected by Haj committee, that Muslim individual on Haj on his own had to spend only Rs 16,000!!
In October 7 this year the Union cabinet approved the following for the Haj 2011 operations:
i) Number of Haj Pilgrims to be covered under the Government subsidy scheme for Haj 2011 to be facilited by the Haj Committee of India is 1,25,000.
ii) Fare to be charged from each of the pilgrims for Haj 2011 is Rs.16,000.
iii) Haj flights would be operated from 21 embarkation points during Haj 2011.
iv) Ex-post facto approval has been given for increasing the number of pilgrims to 1,26,191 for Haj 2010.
A related press release said: “Ministry of Civil Aviation is entrusted with the responsibility of making air travel arrangements for Haj pilgrims proceeding for Haj through the Haj Committee of India. For Haj 2011, Ministry of Civil Aviation has selected the airlines for undertaking Haj Charter flights through sealed tender process. Since only designated airlines of India and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are permitted to carry Haj pilgrims from India to Saudi Arabia, the designated airlines of both the countries were issued the tender notice, Saudi Arabian Airlines and National Air Services (NAS), the two designated airlines of Saudi Arabia emerged L1 for 13 and 8 embarkation points respectively. MoUs have been signed with these airlines for carrying the Haj Pilgrims. The pilgrims would be carried from India to Jeddah/Madina during 29.9.2011 and 31.10.2011 and from Jeddah/Madina to India during 10.11.2011 and 10.12.2011.”
The release further stated: “the number of Haj pilgrims going through the Haj Committee of India is decided by the Ministry of External Affairs which is the nodal Ministry for Haj matters. The cost of air travel of pilgrims undertaking Haj through Haj Committee of India is borne partly by the pilgrims and partly subsidized by the Government of India. The cost/fare to be charged from pilgrims is decided by the Cabinet and collected by the Haj Committee of India and paid to the Government/airlines and the balance cost is borne by the Government, for which a budgetary provision is made in the annual budget of Ministry of Civil Aviation. The number of pilgrims to be covered under this scheme and the number of embarkation points in India from which these pilgrims would board the flights is also decided by the Cabinet every year.”
And spending for Kailash Mansarovar yatra
Now coming back to Lok Sabha MP Shri Setti Raju alias Devappa Anna’s question about Kailash Mansarovar yatra. Following is the table of central government’s expenses for Kailash Mansarovar yatra.
|2007-08||Rs. 97 lakhs||Rs. 97 lakhs|
|2008-09||Rs. 46 lakhs||Rs. 43 lakhs|
|2009-10||Rs. 71 lakhs||Rs. 69 lakhs|
|2010-11||Rs. 95 lakhs||Rs. 93.50 lakhs|
The minister while giving reply about Kailash Mansarovar yatra and central government’s spending for it stated: Government of India has constantly been improving the facilities in India for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. Government of India has also been regularly interacting with the Government of China for improvement of facilities in China at the holy sites of Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake.
This entire piece of article shows that while for Kailash Mansarovar yatra, the government of India spends less than one crore per year, the same government spends 28-30 crore for Haj yatris as other than subsidy expenses and 476-690 crore as subsidy every year! What a person on ground gets from this has to be checked. If Rs 16,000 is just one-way, then Haji pays Rs 32,000 for air fare, but even then the govt spends upto Rs 73,000 for that pilgrim on air fare. Another thing is that govt should have spine to stop funding yatras whether it is Kailash Mansarovar or Haj. Question has already been raised in parliament time and again that why Sikhs are not funded for their Pakistan yatra and Christians for their middle east pilgrim tour!