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D.G. Vanzara blames Modi, Shah for 'encounter' killings

Suspended police officer DG Vanzara has quit the IPS after alleging that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former minister of state for home Amit Shah were also to blame for ‘encounter deaths’ that have kept him and 31 other officers in jail for years.

DG Vanzara
D G Vanzara (C) and Rajkumar Pandiyan (L), two of the three senior officers arrested in the Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter are escorted by police following an appearance in the magistrate’s court in Ahmedabad, 01 May 2007. Pic/AFP

In an explosive 10-page letter dated September 1 made available to the media Tuesday, Vanzara -- long known as an encounter specialist -- said “this spineless government of Gujarat... has ceased to command my allegiance, trust and loyalty” for not standing by the jailed officers.

Describing Modi as a ‘God’ who failed and attacking Shah for not protecting the jailed police officers, he said Gujarat’s rulers could not evade blame for the many ‘encounter deaths’ in the state.

Vanzara said in the letter from the Sabarmati Central Prison that if he and his colleagues could be charged with fake encounters, then the CBI must “arrest the policy formulators also as we... simply implemented the conscious policy of this government”.

“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, ie (the) 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,” said the suspended supercop who has been in jail since his arrest in April 2007 in connection with more than one encounter killing.

Attack against Shah
Vanzara accused Modi confidant Shah -- now the BJP campaign head in Uttar Pradesh -- of employing dirty tactics to save himself from criminal cases “while ditching the police officers to...allow them to die unnatural death by drowning”. “By adopting such a suicidal path, this government is doing nothing else but hastening and facilitating its own death by drowning.”

Vanzara said he had for long adored Modi. “But I am sorry to state that my God could not rise to the occasion under the evil influence of Amitbhai Shah... His (Shah’s) unholy grip over the state administration is so complete that he is almost running the government of Gujarat by proxy.”

The cop referred to Modi’s repeated vows to ‘repay (what) he owes to Mother India’. “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.”

Betrayed
Vanzara said he and his colleagues in the Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range “simply acted and performed their duties in compliance (with) the conscious policy of this government” after a spurt in Pakistan-sponsored terrorism following the Godhra train burning and Gujarat riots of 2002.

He also said that the 32 Rajasthan and Gujarat police officers, including six from IPS, in prisons had been left to fend for themselves.

“I and my officers feel ditched and disowned by this government and there remains no valid reason for us to continue to trust this government and its ace strategist, Amitbhai Shah...”
He said he and his men not only prevented Gujarat from becoming another Kashmir but created an atmosphere of peace and security in Gujarat.

“But for (our) sacrifices, the Gujarat model of development which this government is so assiduously showcasing at the national level would not become possible.”

Vanzara said: “As the government has miserably failed in protecting its police, there remains no one-sided obligation on (my) part to protect the traitors sitting in this government who almost have pushed patriotic and nationalist police officers into the jaws of death.”

Who is DG Vanzara?
Vanzara was a 1987 batch Indian Police Service officer, who headed the Crime Branch and Anti-Terrorist Squad in Gujarat. Vanzara has been accused in the killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi (2005), Ishrat Jehan (2004) and Tulsi Prajapati, said to be an accomplice of Sohrabuddin, in 2006. All of them were then described as terrorists wanting to target Modi. Vanzara was arrested in April 2007 by the Gujarat Crime Investigation Department (CID), in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case and which sought permission to conduct a narco-analysis test on him 

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