Sanjiv Bhatt, the Gujarat cadre IPS officer, who was sentenced to life in prison by a local court in Jamnagar district on 20 June, penned a heartfelt letter to his family.
His wife, Shweta Bhatt, posted the letter on Facebook and Twitter.
‘Whatever I am today, is only and only because of you. You have been my strength and my inspiration. You have been the fuel that kept the furnaces of my passion and idealism burning against all odds,’ he wrote in the letter addressing his wife.
This is Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt,— Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) (@sanjivbhatt) August 2, 2019
In Sanjiv's absence, I have been his voice for the past 11 months...Today, Sanjiv himself has something to say to all of us, from Palanpur through this letter.
Bhatt was sentenced to life imprisonment in a 30-year-old custodial torture-death case by a local court in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
He had testified to the Nanavati Commission in 2011 against the then-chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Since then, he has been arrested twice, and suspended on charges of unauthorised leave.
In the letter, he apologised to his wife for having to watch “helplessly” when the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation demolished their bungalow. “I can only imagine how very painful it must've been for you to helplessly watch portions of the home you created and tended with so much love, being pulled down by the supplicant stooges of a thuggish government,” read the letter.
"“All of you have willingly paid the price for my decision to stake everything I had, in order to become everything that I needed to be, for serving the cause that was larger than all of us.”" - Sanjiv Bhatt writes in the letter
He also pointed out that he had been falsely accused “in a 24 year old case on completely fabricated evidence.”
He commended his wife for putting up a tough fight in a country where “thuggery has been allowed to elevate itself into a technique of governance.”
"“The so-called watchdogs of democracy have been tamed into whimpering submission. In these times of all round institutional undermining and systemic subversion, no institution or organisation is safe. The courts of our country are apparently adjudicating, but truth and justice don’t necessarily enter the equation.”" - Sanjiv Bhatt writes in the letter
He wrote to his daughter Aakashi saying he is very blessed to have such a loving daughter and that she will always be his ‘Arya Stark’.
Bhatt thanked his son Shantanu for always being by his mother's side.
“Shan, every choice I made had its risks, every choice its consequences… and I have no regrets. I take every slander and every act of persecution as a reaffirmation that I am continuing to walk on the right path against all odds, but at times I feel a little guilty for having thrust this role upon you. Yet, I am very proud to see the man you've become,” the letter read.
He also had a few words of heartfelt gratitude for “all the brave friends and supporters” who stood by him and his family “in these dark times”.
“Friends, the sun is setting around Indian Democracy in more ways than one, but with people like you around, India still has hope. When it comes to countering the forces of evil, no acts of resistance is insignificant, no fight is too small to be fought. Even the biggest of avalanches are made up of small things… snowflakes. We shall resist. We shall fight. We shall overcome. That is certain,” the letter read.
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