Congress, Left slam Gujarat action against cops (Lead)

August 11th, 2011 - 11:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) The Congress and the Left parties Thursday condemned the Gujarat government’s action of suspending two police officials, who provided evidence against Chief Minister Narendra Modi about the handling of the 2002 communal riots.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that the suspensions of two senior police officers - Rahul Sharma and Sanjiv Bhatt - were isolated cases and did not affect the governance or the democratic institutions.

Accusing the state government of manipulating the system for protecting those responsible for the riots, the Congress said that justice could not be done to Gujarat riot victims until all cases related to the riots were shifted out of the state.

“The entire machinery, including the law officers, have colluded to subvert the process of law in Gujarat,” Congress spokeperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

“All riot related cases should be transferred out of the state (Gujarat) because only cases out of the influence of the Gujarat government have fructified in results,” he said.

After the Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt was suspended for making allegations related to the riots against Modi, another senior Gujarat police officer, Rahul Sharma, was hauled up for passing on, without official permission, information to a panel probing the carnage.

Tewari alleged that the Gujarat government was taking action against police officers because the latest revelations were pointing finger at Modi.

“It is no secret why action has been taken against the police officers, it is because the fire has reached (Chief Minister Narendra) Modi’s doors,” Tewari said.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said Gujarat riots could not have happened without the connivance of the state government.

“The matter has gone to the Supreme Court…Investigations are on in several cases and several others are pending. The officials revealing anything against the government are targeted,” Raja added.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters that the action against police officials were individual cases.

“The action against a police officer does not mean an attack on democratic institutions or fair governance,” he told reporters here.

Meanwhile, Gujarat police officer Rahul Sharma moved the state high court, challenging his suspension.

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