Gandhinagar, 14 Aug, 2019: Gujarat Police on Wednesday have detained the Congress leader Hardik Patel, two party MLAs and around 27 of their supporters for trying to meet sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who was currently lodged in Palanpur district jail in Gujarat. Hardik Patel and others were detained as soon as he and other party leaders entered Palanpur to go to the jail to meet Mr Bhatt, senior police officer of Banaskantha Niraj Badgujar said. The two arrested MLAs who accompanied Hardik are Mahesh Patel of Palanpur and Kirit Patel of Patan.
The Gujarat-cadre officer was suspended from the Indian Police Service in 2011 and sacked by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in August 2015 on grounds of "unauthorized absence from service". On September 5, 2018, he was arrested in another case, where he is accused of falsely implicating a man for alleged possession of drugs in Palanpur in 1996. Mr Bhatt, who was in June awarded life sentence in a custodial death case, is currently lodged at the Palanpur district jail.
Sanjiv Bhatt made headlines when he alleged in an affidavit before the Supreme Court that after the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002, PM Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, at a meeting asked senior police officers to let the majority community vent its anger. The police allowed the sacked IPS officer's wife Shweta Bhatt to tie "rakhi" to her husband. "Hardik Patel said he will also accompany her. While Sanjiv Bhatt's wife has been allowed to go to meet him as she is a family member, we have detained the others," Police informed.