Opp:Margao Municipal Council, Margao
The Nation Stands With Sanjiv Bhatt – Stop Hounding Upholders of Truth – NCHRO Goa Citizens Rally
NCHRO held a well-attended rally of concerned citizens in Margao, Goa on 12th July demanding the immediate release of Sanjeev Bhatt. Speakers at the rally asserted that Sanjeev Bhatt was a victim of political revenge only because he had dared to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India against the then Chief Minister of the Government of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, concerning Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The cycle of revenge began when Sanjeev Bhatt was later dismissed from service for supposedly taking of a few days of unauthorized leave of absence. This action was shocking because a respected body such as the UPSC endorsed the dismissal. Dismissal is a punishment reserved only for the gravest of offences by public officials. In the case of Sanjeev Bhatt, the punishment was inflicted to threaten him and get him to reverse his statements and actions. As a man of principle, Sanjeev Bhatt held on to his dignity and stood his grounds. The punishment was also meant to be a signal to other officers to surrender their consciences and toe the line of the government. It begs the question: “Whither democracy”?
More recently, the Jamnagar Sessions Court sentenced Sanjiv Bhatt to life imprisonment in a 1990 custodial death case. As citizens, we are forced to worry that if a senior police officer can face such unjust treatment, will the average citizen also be punished only for asking questions and claiming justice?
Judiciary should not be subject to improper influence from the other branches of government or from private or partisan interests. To add fuel to the fire, the mainstream media has shown complicity by refusing to expose the truth and assume complicity in the reckless misuse of state power without ire or protest.
Sanjeev Bhatt’s case is an example of how seriously the government is threatened by what evidence Bhatt will reveal in what is India’s most significant case of communal massacre. His courage and spirit is a lesson in democracy, citizen’s rights, and how important it is for responsible government servants and citizens to speak truth to power. As long as citizens run away from the truth, we will all one day become slaves of our rulers and they will Lord it over us.