In a unique protest, Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt, wife of Sanjiv Bhatt, former IPS officer, serving life sentence for a two decades old custodial death, tried to meet her husband along with 30,000 rakhis, 300 women, 50 men, and her son. She had gone to Palanpur in North Gujarat to give Sanjiv Bhatt “the respect and love sent by women from all across the globe in the form of tens of thousands of rakhis”, she says.
Among those who accompanied Shweta Bhatt included well-known Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who is now in the Congress, and two party MLAs. Shweta Bhatt alone was allowed to meet her husband.
According to Shweta Bhatt, “Most of these women had never met Sanjiv, they hadn’t ever spoken to him, yet it seemed that they were all bound to each other by a sacred bond. All of these women have nothing but respect for Sanjiv and are all worried about his well being.”
She believes Sanjiv Bhatt is being punished for “exposing” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in 2002 Gujarat riots.
Shweta Bhatt further says, “All 30,000 of them had only one wish, that Sanjiv Bhatt comes out soon. Each one of them, and their families are convinced that he has been falsely implicated. The police officials not only detained all of them, but did not allow the rakhis to be delivered to Sanjiv. They threatened to throw away all the rakhis. In order to preserve the sanctity of the sacred thread, we brought them back with us respectfully.”
Behind the bars for 349 days, the next court hearing for Sanjiv Bhatt’s bail is scheduled for August 20.