Controversial ex-IPS officer Dahyaji Gobarji Vanzara was the Deputy Inspector General for Gujarat. He has been in jail since 2007 on charges of having conducted a series of extrajudicial (“false encounter”) killings, while heading the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). He was accused in the Ishrat Jahan and Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter cases. He walked out of the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad after spending almost seven and a half years in prison. Vanzara was granted bail in Ishrat Jahan encounter case about 10 days ago. His bail bonds in Sohrabuddin encounter case couldn’t be furnished for a long time due to which he had to stay behind bars.
Soharabuddin Anwar Hussain Sheikh was killed on November 26, 2005, while he was in police custody. According to the police, apart from being involved in the criminal extortion racket in Gujarat, Sheikh was also involved in arms smuggling in Madhya Pradesh, and also had murder cases registered against him in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Sheikh was also said to be associated with the banned global terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence, and planned to create communal chaos in the state by assassinating “an important political leader”. Although the target of Sheikh’s plans has never been officially revealed, it is widely believed that he was targeting then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who is deeply unpopular among the Pakistani establishment and various Islamic terrorist organisations in South Asia after the 2002 Gujarat violence. Sheikh’s wife Kauser Bi also disappeared on the same day. A year later, on December 26, 2006, Sheikh’s underworld associate Tulsiram Prajapati, a witness to Sheikh’s killing, was also killed in another police encounter.
A local court had granted him bail in the Ishrat Jahan case on February 3, while he had earlier got bail from a Mumbai court in the Soharabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati case, which were clubbed by the Supreme Court. He was serving as Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in the crime branch of Ahmedabad, when Mumbra based college girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The CBI, which took over probe from the Gujarat High Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), had filed charge sheet in August 2013, saying the encounter was fake and executed in the joint operation by the Ahmedabad crime branch and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB). Vanzara even launched blistering attack at Amit Shah, his co-accused in Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. Finally, he has succumbed to the pressure being put since 7 years. They were infamous extortionists and goons who were killed by the police. Even if we say the process was not right, but what police had done was right as, if police had arrested them then it would have taken 30-40 years by courts to establish that they were criminals or they would have run their racket from the prison.
It’s a big dilemma for the Police force, if they do well they are targeted, if they don’t do, then also they are targeted. The political managers in BJP camp have less to cheer about Vanzara spilling the beans. In his bid to save the skin, the police officer fired all his cylinders against Amit Shah, the close political aid of Modi and today’s BJP’s National President. It is a lesson to the serving IAS, IPS and IFS officers in any parts of the country that only rule of law will ultimately prevail and not the temporary corrupt officers, who work on the instruction of their political masters.
Although, the ill-fated IPS officer D G Vanzara had no legal right to blame others for his wrong doings when he was in service to Gujarat. Action must be taken against those guilty politicians who were part of the serial ‘fake’ encounter in Gujarat. Cop’s community should learn a lesson from this and stop licking politicians’ toes and obeying their unlawful orders, in their own and public interest.
BJP and Amit Shah are in power and Vanzara is out on bail. Now, it will be interesting to see that whether to seek revenge Vanzara is joining another political party or he gets back to his ‘masters’ for a glorious future. Whatsoever are his steps but definitely his ‘achche din’ has arrived.