Retired IPS officer DG Vanzara was released 13 days after he was granted bail in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case a special CBI court here on February 5. As per the bail conditions, he is not allowed to enter Gujarat.
Mr. Vanzara is a 1987-batch IPS officer and he was said to be close to Mr. Modi. He had acquired a fiery reputation of an encounter specialist during his service and earned the sobriquet 'Supercop". Vanjara was also known to be close to ex - Home Minister Amit Shah. It is known that Amit Shah to have made 331 calls to Vanzara and other police officers, many of them around the time of these killings.
There is a long list of alleged involvement of Vanjara and other police officers of Gujarat that includes the suspect killings of Sameer Khan (shot dead Sep 2002), Ishrat Jahan and three others (shot dead 15 June 2004), Sohrabuddin (shot dead Nov 2005), Sheikh's wife Kausar Bi (poisoned and body burned in Vanzara's farmhouse), Tulsiram Prajapati (killed in December 28, 2006) and Sadik Jamal (killed 2003). As of September 2013, there were 32 police officers, including six IPS officers who were on jail for these encounters.Most of them had worked under Vanzara.
As he stepped out of the jail, a grand reception from family and supporters greeted him. In the jail premises itself, he was showered with garlands and petals as the crowd cheered "Gujarat ka sher aya' (Gujarat's lion has come) to loud beating of drums.
In his statement, soon after in fresh air, Mr. Vanzara squarely denied the charges against him. He claimed that the encounters were not fake and that the Gujarat police was "targeted" in a national political conspiracy. "The encounters were not fake. That is my legal stand. The offences registered and their investigation were fake, whether it was by the Criminal Investigation Department or any other agency. Mere registration of cases and collection of evidence is not a final thing. Till the charges are proved, the accused is innocent," he said in response to a question.
"The Gujarat police took action as per the legal provisions. Action against terrorism is taken in all States, but only Gujarat police was targeted and Indian politics is responsible for that. I will not specify right now what kind of politics. I would have regrets if I had done anything wrong. All the officer acted as per the law. It is the duty of the police to protect the life and liberty of citizens. The Gujarat police was, is and will be innocent. We will continue to work in the interest of the country with the same energy."
Since his case is still prejudiced and he is out bail, I won't make any comment over the quality of release order. However, I'm quoting some interesting observations that Vanzara had made in his controversial resignation letter in 2013. It is very lengthy correspondence that spreads over ten pages.
( Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad.
Addl. Chief Secretary
Government of Gujarat (Home
Sub: Tendering of resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post-retirement benefits
I, undersigned, D.G. Vanzara, DIG of Police (under suspension) an under trial prisoner No. 4826, residing at 1, Sardaryard, Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad do hereby tender this resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post-retirement benefits.
Verbal consolations given by this government, time and again, had been proved to be invariably hollow and deliberately misleading.
With the passage of time, I realized that this government was not only not interested in protecting us but it also has been clandestinely making all efforts to keep me and my officers in the jail so as to save its own skin from CBI on one hand and gain political benefits on the other. It is everybody's knowledge that this government has been reaping very rich political dividends, since last 12 years, by keeping the glow of encounter cases alive in the sky of Gujarat, while otherwise, remaining in the low profile and indifferent to the fate of jailed police officers.
This government suddenly became vibrant and displayed a spur of sincere activities only when Shri Amitbhai Shah, former MOS, Home, was arrested by CBI. It so happened that Shri Ram Jethmalani, the most learned, senior most and highest paid advocate of India was engaged for Shri Amitbhai Shah who appeared on behalf of him at all levels of courts, right from the lowest CBI court, to Special Court, to High Court, to the Apex court of India and got him released on regular bail within record time of 3 months of his imprisonment.
The most heartless and shameful act of betrayal on the part of this government was that when Dinesh M.N., and Narendra Amin got released by their own individual efforts, it got their bails cancelled at the earliest opportunity and pushed them back behind the bars of Sabarmati Central Prison.
The only fault, if that is to be construed as a fault, which they committed was that they performed their duties diligently and served their country well under the direct instructions from this government.
Inspite of all such acts of betrayal and treachery, I was gradually reconciling myself with this government, when a skylab in the form of Supreme Court order of transfer of Shohrabuddin trial to Mumbai, fell on us from New Delhi, which was beyond wildest of my imaginations.
I sincerely believe and state that but for the legal and political intrigues, machinations and maneuverings of Shri Amitbhai Shah, the trial of Shohrabuddin encounter case, followed by that of Tulasiram encounter case, would not have gone out of the state of Gujarat.
Shri Amitbhai Shah got the trial transferred and betrayed our trust reposed in him whereby he forced us to suffer more and more in Taloja Central Prison on one hand and face the costliest trial in Mumbai Court, on the other, which none of us is in the position to afford. As if this was not sufficint, Shri Amitbhai Shah, through the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, also managed the merger of Tulasiram encounter case into that of Shohrabuddin encounter case so as to prevent his own arrest into the second case whereby he almost closed the doors of regular bails to the rest of the police officers. Not only that, by converting two cases into one case, he has also aggravated the seriousness of the combined cases elevating the same into a rare category.
Under the circumstances, I and my officers feel ditched and disowned by this government and hence there remains no valid reason for us to continue to trust this government and its ace strategist Shri Amitbhai Shah who convincingly proved himself to be completely self-centric in handling the serious encounter cases with total disregard to the legitimate interests of jailed police officers whereby he has reduced himself to be a mere custodian of political interests of Gujarat government which he is jealously guarding at the cost of those of jailed police officers. And by doing so, he has been playing with our lives without an iota of qualms of conscience.
I have been observing right from the year 2002 that Shri Amitbhai Shah as a MOS, Home, had been completely mismanaging a sensitive Department like Police which would have been handled more carefully in the context of Godhra train burning, post-Godhra riots.
Shri Amitbhai Shah introduced a much despised British policy of divide and rule coupled with equally dirty policy of use the officers and throw them by deliberately spreading disinformations about them, whereby he succeeded in creating the "crisis of confidence" among senior officers on one hand and the government on the other. That, in turn, destroyed the command and control mechanism of Gujarat Police which is considered to be a "soul" of any uniformed organization anywhere in the world.
Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases holding us to be responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters, if that is true, then the CBI Investigating officers of all the four encounter cases of Shohrabuddin, Tulasiram, Sadique Jamal and Isharat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from the very close quarters. By this reasoning, I am of the firm opinion that the place of this government, instead of being in Gandhinagar, should either be in Taloja Central Prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad.
The logic is very simple, i.e, government and police officers are sailing in the same boat and have to swim or sink together. None should try to outsmart the other and try to swim at the cost of other, neither government nor the police officers. I would like to state in the most unambiguous words that this government, through the dirty tactics of Shri Amitbhai Shah, is unfortunately managing only for its own self so as to swim and continue to prosper in all directions, while ditching the police officers so as to sink and allow them to die unnatural death by drowning.
Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat has very rightly been talking of
repaying his debt which he owes to Mother India. It, indeed, is the
sacred duty of every citizen to do it. But, it would not be out of
context to remind him that he, in the hurry of marching towards
Delhi, may kindly not forget to repay the debt which he owes to
jailed police officers who endowed him with the halo of Brave Chief
Minister among the galaxy of other Chief Ministers who do not bear
the same adjective before their names. This, as per my humble
opinion, is also a part of the repayment of debt to Mother India.
Let me also further put on record and clarify my stand that I have been maintaining my graceful silence for such a long period only and only because of my supreme faith in and highest respect for Shri Narendrabhai Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, whom I used to adore like a God. But, I am sorry to state that my God could not rise to the occasion under the evil influence of Shri Amitbhai Shah who usurped his eyes and ears and has been successfully misguiding him by converting goats into dogs and dogs into goats since last 12 years. His unholy grip over the state administration is so complete that he is almost running the government of Gujarat by proxy. The resultant criminal negligence negligence of this government on one hand and wilful acts of omissions and commissions by Shri Amitbhai Shah towards the fate of 32 jailed officers on the other are so nauseating that it may take this government to the crematorial ground sooner or later.
(D. G. Vanzara)
Dy. Inspector General of Police
Under suspension )
Mr Vanajara refused to comment upon his resignation letter and evasively said, "I do not live in the past or future; I live in the present."