June 20 (UPI) -- An Indian court sentenced a former police command officer to life in prison Thursday for a 30-year-old case.
Sanjiv Bhatt was sentenced in connection with a 1989 custodial death case, in which he was accused of detaining and torturing dozens of people during a riot in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat. One of those arrested later died, and Bhatt was among seven officials accused by the dead man's family. Bhatt was a police superintendent at the time.
The Indian Supreme Court last week turned down Bhatt's request to interview new witnesses. Bhatt was suspended from the police force in 2011 and fired in 2015 for being absent from duty without permission and misuse of official vehicles.
Bhatt later became known for saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi was complicit in 2002 riots while he was chief minister of Gujarat. Those claims were dismissed after an investigation.
Modi denied wrongdoing in those riots, which led to the deaths of more than 1,000 people.