Gandhinagar: Former IPS Sanjiv Bhatt had on Wednesday cried foul and raised serious questions over the withdrawal of the security cover provided to him and his family by the state government and Gujarat Police. He took to the microblogging platform Twitter and said that it was a part of the intimidation tactics to deter him from fighting against the evil forces of hatred. It is now revealed that Bhatt was not the only person in the state to lose his security cover. 68 VIPs, including 20 former ministers too saw their security cover being withdrawn by the Gujarat Police. More than 400 policemen and other security personnel were deployed to protect these people.

The review committee that reviews the threat perception ministers, officials and other VIPs of the state and decides on the category of security cover to be provided to them dropped names of 68 people from their list which included several former police officials and ministers too. The review committee had sent its report to the state home ministry which was prepared after reviewing the inputs received from the intelligence and spy agencies. This list also featured the name of Bhatt.

Those dropped from the list include 20 former BJP ministers, 3 former Congress MLAs, 1 former BJP MP, 8 retired judges and five police officers, which included former cop Sanjiv Bhatt and two others who are still in service.

Bhatt, a 1988-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, is known for locking horns with the state government when he had accused the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah of holding a meeting at the CM’s official residence where the police officials were instructed to go soft on Hindu rioters in the 2002 communal clashes. After several similar run-ins with the government, Bhatt was later removed from police service in 2015 on grounds of ‘unauthorised absence’ from duty.

Just like Bhatt, many of the above-mentioned VIPs have appealed to the government asking it to reinstate the security cover that was being provided to them.

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