Saturday, 22 June 2013
2013-06-21 Appeal to IB
The Central Intelligence Bureau or Immunized Bureau
Strangely the blatantly illegal act of Union Home Secretary convening a meeting of Director Central Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Director CBI reportedly for influencing CBI from doing anything affecting “image and morale” of IB personal in the investigation of fake encounter cases in Gujarat, did not evoke adequate discussion in the media. The Parliament enacted law, Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) provided authority only to CBI to investigate criminal cases, under the supervision of the judiciary, which can only intervene to give directions to the Investigating Officer (IO). The Union Home Secretary has only administrative authority/ powers over CBI. The Administrative regulations empowering MHA to summon CBI cannot and will not supersede the efficacy and superiority of CRPC. So, per se, the act of Secretary, MHA is an offence under section 186 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) – “obstructing public servant in the discharge of his public function”. In case the CBI Director had altered the course of investigation or restrained the IO from taking any action, in compliance with MHA directives, he is culpable u/s 217 IPC – “public servant disobeying the direction of law with intent to save person from punishment”. As per CRPC the IO of a case should probe basing on the principle of his subjective satisfaction and judicious appreciation of evidence.
Chapter XII of CRPC delineating power of police officers to investigate offences provides adequate authority and even semi-judicial status (to issue summons, etc.) to police and so the IO is only accountable to the jurisdictional judicial authority. Under section 36 of the CRPC, the authority to supervise the work of the IO is given only to “Police Officers superior in the rank of an officer in charge of a police station”, who takes cognizance of an offence u/s 154 of the CRPC. High ranking functionaries of political and civil bureaucracy have no legal powers to meddle in the affairs of the investigation. But their such deviant actions are tolerated, allowed or ignored by police officers due to their own self-promoting careerist interests. Nevertheless, none can blame if police officers allow themselves to be influenced by unauthorized persons. State Home Department Officials and Ministers often make boastful, but intrinsically illegal statements about their plans of arresting or releasing somebody in India. These acts are contemptuously ridiculous.
The hue and cry made out by Director, IB and resource persons, friends of intelligence agency in media and intellectual circles aims at practically providing an armour of immunity from arrest and impunity from prosecution to IB personal allegedly accused for planning and execution of fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others in Gujarat, in collaboration with Gujarat Police. This posture of Director IB is illegal, unethical and simply against the foundational principles of the Constitution of India and canons of the Rule of Law. The protagonists of blanket protection to IB people from legal action for their malicious acts argue about the dangers of erosion of morale and adverse ambiance under which IB men have to perform their functions for the internal security of our mother land. These friends of intelligence agencies, had conveniently ignored the denial of right to life and other fundamental rights to citizens who were victims of atrocities by Gujarat Police and IB staff. They, perhaps, want IB men to be given privileges provided by law to the President of India and Governors – protection from arrest and prosecution. They are not willing to wait for judicial scrutiny of charge sheet and trial through due process of law.
Many citizens may not be aware that our intelligence agencies – IB, RAW, etc. – irrespective of controversies regarding the professional merit of their output, enjoy total freedom from any auditing, monitoring and supervision from any agency outside their hierarchical over-viewing elite. Such a system was put into operation by the British for creating a set of blue eyed boys to spy on freedom fighters, without any apprehension over scrutiny of their work by independent agencies and accountability. As on today, in nearly 75 democratic nations in the world, like England, USA, France, Canada, Malaysia and so on, the intelligence agencies do work under specific laws and their charter of duties and powers are streamlined. To illustrate, intelligence agencies are given full authority to register cases, search premises, arrest and prosecute persons accused in cases relating to counter intelligence and counter espionage functions to block hostile designs of foreign countries. Strangely, IB had willingly taken up recently policing of immigration procedure in major airports, though their entry did not, reportedly, make any notable reduction in human trafficking, ex-filtration, infiltration and other fraudulent acts. These factors must have prompted our Vice-President, Hamid Ansari to propose for subjecting all Indian Intelligence Agencies under legislative control and system of accountability (Jan. 2010). Any well meaning citizen would feel that there is no merit or credit in insulating just the intelligence segment of governmental functions from well-oiled and structured monitoring mechanism even after 65 years of Indian independence.
Though IB has been working in most hazardous areas of terrorism, and militancy, like Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern States, and left-wing extremism affected areas, it had never faced so much criticism for its acts of commission and omission as in Gujarat from the days of 2002 communal riots. Plenty are the alleged instances of misuse and abuse of Central IB unit in Gujarat by Gujarat State Government for implementation of the covert political agenda of the ruling party at the Centre and State – BJP – in those days. Media reported that the Joint Director, IB in Gujarat from 2001 to 2005, who is accused of active blamable role in conspiring to eliminate Ishrat Jhan and others through extra judicial killings, became friendly to Narendra Modi earlier, when the latter was in-charge of Hariyana and Punjab States as General Secretary of BJP and the former was supervising IB work in similar areas.
Evidence before the Justice Nanavati Commission enquiring to Gujarat riots has a lot of inputs about acts, allegedly intentional omission and commission by this IB Officer. This evidence is in public domain. These include, failure of IB to report about misdeeds of Gujarat contingent of karsevaks on their onward and return journey from Gujarat to Ayodhya; not informing in advance about possible attack on Hindus in Godhra railway station; (After the train fire incident IB had pressurized Gujarat State Director General of Police on 27-2-2002 forenoon to investigate the train fire incident as an international conspiracy against Hindus hatched in Pakistan); refusal to provide information received by IB from its agents who were moving along with karasevaks and had witnessed the actual process of train fire incident; failure to give advance intelligence about areas likely to be attacked by anti-Muslim Hindu militants on the bandh day on 28-2-2002; failure to report about the unabashed and visible subversion of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) by Gujarat Police and public prosecutors (Gujarat State Intelligence had reported this matter) after the riots, which had delayed and denied justice delivery to riot victim survivors, and so on.
Significantly, though many fake encounters were carried out by Gujarat Police, particularly Ahmedabad City Police Crime branch, headed by DIG Vanjara on IB’s intelligence reports, IB did not come out with any collateral information on the so called Jihadi militants killed by police, particularly on their associates, shelters, finances, communication system, weaponry and so on. Normally, even in case of a thief arrested or killed in police action intelligence agencies and police do trace out all facts and data related to him so that future security/police schemes can be designed suitably. But none of this plethora of delinquent acts by IB personal can be established for want of supervision of IB work by outside agencies in the Central Government. CBI probe in Ishrat Jahan case alone had uncovered IB’s alleged criminal role.
Media reports about assertion by Director, CBI on possession of substantial evidence about reprehensible guilt of IB officers in crimes of fake encounters. To counter this claim by CBI, IB and MHA spoke about terrorist links of those killed in encounters. Refreshingly, Gujarat High Court on 14-6-2002 had categorically directed the CBI to concentrate its probe on the background, course and aftermath of encounter killings and not on the criminal or even anti-national character of victims of fake encounters. Did IB forget that even a person imposed with death penalty could not be killed through extra judicial methods by police or Government ? Let us hope that saner wisdom will prevail upon the Government and its executive authorities to give CBI a free hand in the investigation of fake encounter cases and leave judgment on culpability of accused persons to judiciary. Already considerable sections of riot victim survivors and relations of those killed in fake encounters are highly disillusioned about the reported lukewarm approach of Central Government towards 2002 riot cases and extra judicial killings.
Though, there is total protection to all witnesses giving evidence to Judicial Commissions u/s 6 of the Commission of Enquiry Act, IB had avoided filing affidavit on 2002 Gujarat riots. But for saving its officers IB had filed an affidavit in the High Court of Gujarat through MHA in Ishrat Jahan case. Similarly, IB had given evidence before the Commissions which probed into Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi assassinations. Refusal to give evidence on Gujarat riots amounts to opportunistic irresponsibility by IB.
IB’s failure to report on the rise of Hindu militancy due to indoctrination of misguided Hindu youth by Sangh Parivar about Government’s so called soft approach to Jehadis and demonization of Muslim community had resulted in State Police units victimizing Muslim youth in cases of explosions in Malegon, Nanded (Mahashtra), Modasa (Gujarat), Mecca Masjid (Hyderabad), Ajmir Sharif (Rajasthan), and Samachauta Express train (Indo-Pak Border). Spreading of disaffection among personal in Defence forces had led to Army officers arranging explosives for Hindu extremists, to bomb Islamic shrines. This trend had escaped the IB radar, so no preventive action was taken by the local police. The country had witnessed a ping-pong of hurling of blame between IB and RAW soon after 26/11 Mumbai attack, regarding supply of advance intelligence. None can deny that except general alert notice about Pakistan planning guerilla attack through sea rote in Mumbai, there was no pin pointed real time, preventive advance intelligence and hence police could not secure targeted areas purposefully. Even while conceding for argument sake about claims of IB and RAW about supply of prior information of intelligence on 26/11 attack, the fact remains that they fail to report about inadequate and near-nil follow up action by police on intelligence warnings. Mere sending an alert report and thereafter going on a state of slumber is not the profile of any professional intelligence body.
The cover of secrecy is often serving as a carpet of immunity from penal action, accountability, professional acts of omission and commission and misuse of resources for tracking the political opponents of ruling parties, at the expense of the tax payer’s money. In mature democracies like UK and USA, political intelligence in the form of reporting on legitimate overt activities, is not in the charter of intelligence agencies. American president Richard Nixon had to resign for spying on Democratic Party Convention, through private intelligence, and not by CIA or FBI.
The need of the hour is to place Indian intelligence agencies also under the structured monitory system applicable to all other Government departments by incorporating special safeguards in the relevant context of national security. Firstly, the charter of agencies be legalized through a legislation. This would enable the monitory mechanisms to evaluate the output of agencies, without even delving into the sensitive details like economics of intelligence collection, technology applied, persons deployed, agents maintained and so on. It is quite far-fetched to think that an assessment of intelligence by the agencies about VIP security, major riots, terrorist acts and so on and the quantum of advance actionable real time information therein would be exploited by nations’ enemies within and outside, because the tools and human resources of agencies are not being scrutinized by supervisory mechanism. On the other hand, such a periodical exercise would throw a lot of food for thought and wisdom for better future performance.
The illusion of internal corrective system of agencies, taking care of detractors and non-performers is suicidal and counterproductive. Strangely, except one case of compulsory retirement of a Addl. Director (ADGP) ranking officer in IB, by the erstwhile Gujaral Government in 1990’s, for his closeness to Western interests, none has been found to have deviated from the straight and narrow path of IB since independence. Should we believe that foreign intelligence agencies are idle or have totally failed to get any “talent” spotted for serving their objectives in IB so far?
The traditional leadership in the agencies, not withstanding their eminence and brilliance, nurture a self righteous narcissistic infallibility syndrome, inhibiting them from detecting detractors and defaulters in the departments and recommending action against them to the Government, lest this will affect the organizations’ longstanding “good image”. A periodical institutionalized control system through legislative or specially constituted forum can only liberate the agencies from their eternal euphoria of immunity, being the sacred cows of the powers that be. Will India’s political elite muster sagacity and exhibit farsightedness to professionalize intelligence agencies by freeing them from collection of political intelligence and streamlining an effective supervisory system, in the spirit of the Apex Court observations for restoring efficiency and integrity of Indian police in the famous case of Prakash Singh vs. Union of India? Status quoism by preserving the vestiges of colonial feudalism will never take India to the deserving heights of a modern nation. If no curative measures are taken, unscrupulous self serving officers will continue to indulge in misadventures as witnessed in case of fake encounters in Gujarat.
Unlike intelligence agencies of modern democratic countries IB holds on to the obscurantist medievalism by refusing to declassify its records of even pre-independence days. Why should we be irritated about exposure of the misdeeds of our colonial masters ? There should be a public outcry to fix up a period of 25 or 30 years for preservation of IB reports and older documents should be revealed to the citizens.
The compendium of ancient Tamil wisdom – Tirukkural by Saint Tiruvalluvar (1st Century AD) deemed that “Verily the two eyes of a Ruler are espionage and celebrated code of laws” – kural No. 581, chapter 59, “on spying”. India is lacking that eye – law for disciplining spies. Let us design these urgently.
18-6-2013 Former DGP, Gujarat
R.B. SREEKUMAR, IPS (Retd)
Former Director General of Police, Gujarat,
Plot No. 193, Sector – 8,
Gandhinagar – 3820 008.
Tel: [R] 079-23247876
Mobil – 9428016117
Hon.Justice G T.Nanavati & Justice Akshay Mehta Commission,
Bunglow No. 33,
Opp. Police Stadium,
Sub: Clarification on claims by Mr. Sanjiv Bhatt IPS, narrated in para 2 of the Commission’s order , dated 13-12-2011, on application No. Ex. 6180 dated 25-10-2011 by Ms. Mallika Sarabhai.
The Commission’s kind attention is drawn to para 2 of its order on application No.Ex. 6180 dated 25-10-2011 by Ms. Mallika Sarabhai, issued on 13-12-2011. The copy of this order was forwarded to me by Ms. Sarabhai recently. In an answer to the question No. 105 (para 2 of the above order) Shri Sanjiv Bhatt stated “I was working as staff officer to the then ADG Intelligence Mr. R.B Sreekumar”. This statement is not true.
2. I served as Addl.DGP ( Int), supervising the work of the State Intelligence Branch (SIB) from 9-4-2002 to 18-10-2002. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP Rank Officer, was serving as Dy. Commissioner of Intelligence (DCI) (Security). His charter of duties covered security (material and human), encompassing security of vital installations, coastal, border, departmental, storage, document, as well as VIP security. Other officers in the SIB, in the above period, were (i) Shri OP Mathur, IG (Administration and Security) (ii) Shri E. Radhakrishna, DIG (Political and Communal, (iii) Himansu Bhatt, DCI (Administration) and (iv) Shri Prabhat Patel DCI (Communal).
3. Senior Officers of and above the rank of SP were positioned by Govt. in specific posts and neither DGP nor Addl. DGP (Int) had any authority or powers to transfer the officers within the Deptt. or to change subjects and charter of duties assigned to them. It may be noted that there was no post of staff officer in SIB and ADGP (Int) had no powers to create any such post. There is no provision for the post of staff officer in the Gujarat Police Manual or Govt. regulations.
4. Even though Shri Sanjiv Bhatt claimed that he was working as staff officer to Shri GC Raiger, my predecessor ADGP(Int), Shri Raiger did not inform me about any such system or somebody serving as staff officer as an informal arrangement. So I did not utilize any officer in SIB as my staff officer.
5. In the meetings convened by Senior Officers, from DGP to the Chief Minister, I never took any officer along with me for my assistance. In fact, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt did not accompany me in any of the conferences or meetings chaired by Senior Officers and the Chief Minister, which were attended by me. However, on 10-5-2002 Shri KPS Gill, the then Advisor to the Chief Minister, called a meeting of all available officers of SIB for a briefing and Shri Mathur, IGP, Shri Radhakrishna, and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had attended this session. The details of officers, belonging to Deptts. other than the SIB, who attended various meetings convened by Senior officers, and Chief Minister and the gist of verbal orders in those meetings were recorded by me in a “Register for recording verbal instructions from higher officers viz., DGP and above” and copy of the same was appended by me as Annexure “F” in my Third Affidavit to the Commission dated 9-4-2005.
6. The Commission may kindly note that the period of enquiry of the Commission, as per Govt. notification dated 6-3-2002 was from 27-2-2002 to 30-4-2002. When DGP Shri K. Chakraborti directed me to file an affidavit, in my official capacity as ADGP (Int), covering the functions of SIB, relevant to the terms of reference, I had requested DGP to direct Shri G C Raiger, my predecessor to file an affidavit covering his period form 27-2-2002 to 8-4-2002, since I had taken over only on 9-4-2002 as ADGP (Int.) But Shri G C Raiger had refused to comply with the verbal orders of DGP, who, however, did not issue any written orders to Shri Raiger and initiate further action to implement his verbal orders to Shri Raiger.
7. Thereafter, I requested the Senior Officers of SIB, in the rank of SP and above including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, who were assisting Shri Raiger from 27-7-2002 to 8-4-2002 to submit affidavits covering the terms of reference of the Commission. But all of them including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had refused to submit their affidavits. So I asked them to provide the relevant documents produced by them, relating to riots. The Commission may kindly note that all documents provided by these officers, relating to the above period, had been appended by me in my First Affidavit to the Commission dated 15-7-2002. It is pertinent that most of these reports were in the form of alert messages to the Executive Officers in the field and did not contain any information about the subversion of the Criminal Justice System, (CJS) to deny and delay justice delivery to the riot victims, through acts of commission and omission by State Govt. officials. There was also no reports informing the government or DGP about the ground situation of extreme discontentment and dissatisfaction nurtured by the riot victims, particularly minority community, against the Govt. officials. None of the SIB reports did make any suggestions towards remedial measures, for restoring the faith of the citizens on the administration. But such a report was sent by me on 24-4-2002 (see Appendix 24 of my First Affidavit).
8. The Commission may kindly note that non-availability of any records about willful negligence of the officers in implementing instructions in numerous Govt. orders, on the containment of riots and normalization of situation, had prompted and necessitated me to observe that the Govt. officials acted promptly to control the riots, in the period from 27-2-2002 to 8-4-2002. None of the officers in SIB also did provide any input about culpable acts by the functionaries in the Govt. which facilitated the anti-minority genocide in the above period. So I portrayed the law and order situation in the State upto 8-4-2002, i.e., before my taking charge of SIB as ADGP (Int), in para 32, 33, 34, and 40 of my First Affidavit, solely basing on the information provided by SIB officials, including Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. Kindly note that the situation after 9-4-2002 was delineated by me in para 26, 27, 28 and 35 of the above Affidavit and information in these paras, largely collected on my initiative, will supersede those in the earlier mentioned paras, by sheer logic of chronology. Detailed clarifications in these matters were presented by me in my letters, dated 30-3-2010 and 15-11-2010, to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Apex Court, to enquire into the riots. Copies of these letters were appended by me as Annexure B and C of my Eighth Affidavit to the Commission dated 15-9-2011.
9. Later when DGP Shri A.K. Bhargav, in his orders dated (1) 16-9-2004 and (2) 21-9-2004 directed all officers to file Affidavits covering the additional terms of reference by the Govt. to the Commission dated 28-7-2004, I requested Shri Raiger and his subordinate officers to file affidavits, covering the period from 27-2-2002 8-4-2002. But they refused to comply with DGP’s above orders and rejected my request also. I had listed the names of officers, who in my view, ought to have filed their affidavits but did not file, in my Fourth Affidavit dated 27-10-2005, para 91.
10. The Commission may please take note that Shri Raiger had been given, out of turn accelerated promotion superseding me, even though I belonged to a Senior Batch and two positions above him as per the IPS Civil list. After retirement, the Govt. appointed Shri Raiger as member of the Commission probing into illicit liquor tragedy in Ahmedabad city, reportedly with the status of a High Court Judge.
11. I further confirm that my eight affidavits to the Commission were exclusively and solely authored by me, basing on information in the dept. and inputs collected through my own efforts.
12. In para 13 of the above order by the Commission, to Ms. Mallika Sarabhai, it is indicated that I am free to file an affidavit on the matter raised by her. I submit that I have nothing further to depose in this matter. However, I am ever willing to appear before the Commission or any investigating body for providing any information and clarification or face any cross examination by responsible persons on contents of my eight affidavits and my letters to the Commission including the present one.
Dr.R.K. Raghavan, IPS (Retd)
Chairman SIT. Block No. 11,
Jivraj Mehta Bhavan,
Gandhinagar. 382010. For information and necessary
Sub: Request for urgent revitalization of Witness Protection Scheme (WPS) ordered by the Hon.
Supreme Court of India.
The brutal and gruesome murder of Nadeem Saiyed r/o Juhapura, Ahmedabad City, a key witness to Naroda Patia mass killing case of 2002 communal riots, in broad day light on 5-11-2011, was a major setback to WPS ordered by the Apex Court of India, under the close supervision of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by you. This ghastly incident has sent shock waves among other witnesses in numerous cases of anti-minority genocide in 2002 state-wide disturbances, besides exacerbating the fear complex among the riot victim survivors.
2. From 5-11-2011 AN, many witnesses and riot victims, who gave substantial evidence, to Judiciary and Investigating Officers, on the culpable role of the BJP and its sister organizations, and riot victims have been contacting me expressing their feeling of helplessness, panic and despair, and requesting me to take up with relevant authorities about the solvable inadequacies and susceptible vulnerabilities of WPT, being implemented by Gujarat State Government. Higher magnitude of panic – stricken anxiety about their safety and security is voiced by witnesses, who have provided evidence to SIT against Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister, Gujarat and 62 other accused persons, figuring in the complaint filed by Smt. Ahsan Jafri, widow of the former Congress M.P. killed by rioters and Smt. Teesta Setalvad, Secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace, an NGO.
3. In this context, I submit the following suggestions for your kind appreciation and urgent purposeful action for revitalization of WPS.
a) According to witnesses, the policemen detailed for their security are keener to know the protected person’s movements, tours, persons meeting them, subject of interaction, etc. and consequently sufficient agility of response and diligence in observation is not displayed for the security of those under protection. This is a factor dissuading the protected persons from trusting fully, the security personnel from Gujarat Police.
b) There is no periodical monitoring of the security system, briefing and de-briefing of security men for making them aware of latest trends in threat assessment, depth and intensity of dangers to the person, inputs on skill up-gradation, etc.
c) Supervisory Officers hardly inter-act with the protected persons for a feedback about loop-holes in the system and to initiate curative measures.
d) Due to shortage of manpower, very often, the security personnel are found to work for longer hours, resulting in enfeebling physical fatigue and mental exhaustion. This had adversely affected their professional efficiency and quality of service.
Specific action may be taken to remedy the above lacuna, debilitating the efficacy of security cover provided to the protected persons.
4. From the days of anti-minority pogrom in 2002, the State administration has been, allegedly, remaining quite insensitive, insincere and un-empathetic to the problems and interests of those persons, who provided evidence on the incriminating role of ruling party activists and the State Govt. functionaries, in the riots. Efforts are, allegedly, afoot since March 2002, by the State Govt., to impede the flow of reliable inputs to investigating and judicial bodies, including the Judicial Commission probing into the riots, through tactics of persuasion, cajoling, temptation, threat, intimidation, generation of extreme fear complex, perpetration of violence, etc. on the potential and actual witnesses and Government Officials deposing evidence. The assassination of Shri Haran Pandya, the former Home Minister and RTI activists, Shri Amit Jethwa and Shri Nadeem Saiyed, can be deemed to be part of a well – designed strategy, by those people, whose interests will be affected by the posture of above persons. These factors must have prompted the Apex Court, to call Gujarat bureaucracy as “Modern Neros”, in Criminal Appeal No. 446-449 dated April 12, 2004.
5. A few illustrative instances on the unfolding of above policy of the State Govt., are given below:
i) In March – April, 2002 itself, the Criminal Justice System (CJS), in the State, particularly the personnel serving Police, Executive Magistracy and Public Prosecutor Departments were, allegedly, found to be manipulated to delay and deny justice to riot victims. The State Intelligence Branch (SIB) had informed these unholy tendencies to DGP and the State Home Department in numerous reports. Copies of these reports may be seen in my First and Second Affidavits to the Judicial Commission, provided to SIT, as Exhibits, during recording of my statement (48 pages) by the SIT, in 2002 July-August.
ii) The State Home Department officials had intimidated and pressurized me to desist myself from providing adverse evidence against Govt. officials, about their complicity in the riots. (Please see my Third Affidavit to the Commission, provided to SIT also).
iii) The Apex Court, in an unprecedented move in judicial history of India, ordered in August 2004, reinvestigation of 2000 odd closed riot cases by Gujarat Police, even without issuing statutory notice to the complainants, who filed FIRs. Unfortunately, the allegedly deviant Police Officers, who were reinvestigating the cases, had succeeded to prevail upon the complainants and main witnesses and make them retract their complaints/statements. Consequently, so far, reportedly, not even in one percent of cases, under review, the accused were arrested and cases charge-sheeted. This is the latest classical instance of State authority’s alleged partisan and undesirable action, to the advantage of planners and executors of anti-minority genocide in 2002. The case of Best Bakery massacre witness Miss. Zahira Shaikh is well known.
iv) Recently, the CBI Team, investigating the fake encounter killing of Soharabudin and Kausarbi, had approached the Apex Court for transfer of the trial of this case outside Gujarat, as adequate support was not available from the State Administration. The CBI had complained that witnesses in this case had to be transported to CBI Office in Mumbai, to save them from the pressures of the State administration and to ensure their security.
6. The Apex Court had removed, in 2010, two members of SIT from Gujarat Police, viz., Addl. D.G.P., Smt. Geehta Johari (Member-Convener) and Addl. D.G.P., Shivanand Jha (Member), on grounds of unsuitability and professional lapses, from SIT.
7. Many Police Officers from Gujarat Police, supervising WPS are figuring as accused in Mrs. Jafri’s complaint. SIT, as per the Hon. Supreme Court Orders, would be forwarding damaging evidence against them to the relevant court soon. Can we hope and expect that these Police Officers will really be sincere in ensuring security of witnesses, who provided incriminating evidence against them?
8. In the light of the above facts, regarding the state of competence, integrity and morale of the Gujarat State Govt. Officials vis-a-vis 2002 riot cases, it will be counterproductive and self-destructive to entrust the responsibility of witness protection, particularly, of those witnesses in the complaint by Mrs. Jafri exclusively to the State Administration. So, for objective-oriented energization and urgent revitalization of witness security infrastructure – both human and material - a special team has to be constituted by SIT. This team can be called the Special Threat Assessment Team (STAT). STAT should consist of competent and upright senior police officers (DIGP and above) from (i) the State Intelligence Branch, (ii) Central Intelligence Bureau (from its Gujarat State unit), (iii) District Police/Commissonerate and (iv) SIT. The Central IB has well established expertise, skill, intelligence resources and experience in the field of Personnel and Departmental security. Inputs from the Central IB, perhaps, had not been taken into account, periodically, while designing WPS. Care may kindly be taken to induct SIT Officers drawn from outside Gujarat Police as member of STAT, for obvious reasons.
9. The job assignment of threat assessment of witnesses by STAT should essentially have components of (i) interview of witnesses to be protected, (ii) visit/survey of houses and surroundings of witnesse’s habitats, (iii) interaction with his close associates, etc. STAT should make general and person – specific recommendations about level and grade of security to persons to be protected (witnesses), besides the required resources, amenities and facilities for the security personnel. A system of monthly review of WPS, in the light of intelligence obtained, from time to time, also needs to be introduced. A witness-wise threat assessment by STAT, coupled with proportionate matching recommendations, will carry a lot of professional validity, scientific precision and administrative merit. This arrangement will, to a large extent, set at rest controversies regarding conflicting claims and counter claims about witness security, between the State administration and protected persons. The recent media reports about inadequacy of security to Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS, suspended DIG of Gujarat Police is an illustrative case. In this context I request you to kindly refer to my letter No. RBS/30C/SIT/2011 dated 25-4-2011 captioned “Request for providing adequate and effective security to Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS” and do the needful.
Dr.R.K. Raghavan, IPS (Retd)
Chairman SIT. Block No. 11,
Jivraj Mehta Bhavan,
Cwc to Shri Chitranjan Singh, IPS,
Director General of Police,
GANDHINAGAR. - for information and necessary action.