August 12, 2011
The CDs that were too hot to handle
Nikunj Soni l Ahmedabad
Senior IPS officer Rahul Sharma's career is on the line for trying to
expose the perpetrators of the 2002 communal riots. Sharma had
compiled and analysed the mobile call records made by several
ministers and top cops when the when the city was on fire following
the Sabarmati Express train carnage on February 27, 2002.
Sharma is now facing the government ire and is likely to be
chargesheeted under the Official Secrets Act after he allegedly failed
to reply to a show cause notice issued by the home department this
Ironically, unlike IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who was suspended this
week, Sharma has not uttered a word against the state government in
any public forum. But it was the mobile call record CDs of several
ministers and top cops that he had analysed that became a matter of
records show the movement of some top people during the 2002 communal
riots. Sources claimed that Sharma was assisting the Detection of
Crime Branch (DCB) which was handling the initial probe in the riot
cases. "He extracted the mobile records from AT&T which is now Idea
and Celforce, now Vodafone and compiled them in CDs. Sharma was then
working as DCP, police control room. But when he was transferred, he
sent this CDs to top officers of the DCB through a messenger of the
police control room," said the source.
sources further claimed that the CDs that were sent were allegedly
destroyed by the officers but Sharma had saved a copy of the same in
his computer. These copies were then submitted to various forums.
government also tried to undermine the CDs instead of using them to
investigate the riot cases. It had even stated before the Nanavati
Commission that the CDs are not authentic," said sources.
sources are to be believed the government is unhappy with Sharma for
submitting the CDs to the Nanavati Commission, UC Banerjee Commission
and the SIT. The government is blaming Sharma for not depositing the
CDs with his higher officials and not making a mention of it during
the case. Sharma was summoned by the Nanavati Commission and he had
submitted the CDs during his cross examination conducted by Mukul
Sinha, advocate for JSM, a civil rights organisation that represents
the riot victims.
Sharma had also submitted the CDs before the justice UC Banerjee
committee, which was constituted by then railway minister Lalu Prasad
Yadav, to probe the Sabarmati Express train carnage. Sharma later also
submitted the CDS to the Supreme Court appointed SIT to probe the riot
on the CDs, the SIT proved the presence of the then health and woman
welfare minister Maya Kodnani and former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)
leader Jaideep Patel at the place where the Naroda Patiya and Naroda
Gam massacre took place.
Both the leaders were then arrested by the SIT and were later released
on bail. Few other politicians including VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders,
police officers and government officials are under scanner for their
role in the riots. Sinha, who is now also the lawyer for Sharma,
termed the government's action 'ex-facie vindictive' and said, "if a
government official does his duty to reveal the truth he should not be
treated in a manner that questions his credibility."
said it was surprising that on one hand the government had challenged
the authenticity of CDs submitted by Sharma before the Nanavati
Commission and on the other hand it issued show cause notice on the
grounds that the CDs were submitted without its consent." Sharma
refused to comment as he had not received a copy of the chargesheet.