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Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case: Former Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara gets bail

Senior IPS officer DG Vanzara, accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases, was on Thursday granted bail by the Bombay High Court after being in jail for seven years. He was granted bail as several other accused had already been released.

Vanzara was arrested in 2007 in connection with the fake encounter cases. He resigned soon after from the police force.

Vanzara, as per CBI complaint, had led a team of Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ahmedabad, which was involved in the killing of Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, two alleged Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of the city.

He also blamed the then Gujarat chief minister and the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not helping him and other officer facing the heat in the cases.

In May 2013, Vanzara resigned from the service and sent a letter to the Director General of Police in which he blamed former Gujarat minister of state for home and the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah for making him and other police officials “scapegoats” in fake encounter cases. In the letter, Vanzara termed Modi, as his ‘God’, who was working under Shah’s “influence”.

However, his resignation was not accepted by the state home department.

Vanzara retired from service on May 31, 2014 after serving for 34 years. He was incarcerated in Sabarmati Central Prison when he retired.

Vanzara, 59, had been in jail ever since he was arrested by the state CID in March 2007 in connection with the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. When he was arrested, Vanzara was serving as Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of Border Range.

Later, he was also made the accused in the cases related to fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan, Tulsiram Prajapati, Sadik Jamal and others.

Recently, when some of his junior officers including Abhay Chudasama and Rajkumar Pandian were granted bail by the court, Vanzara too sought release. However, CBI opposed his plea in the Mumbai court, which denied him bail.

Vanzara joined the police force as a Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1980 and was promoted as an IPS officer in 1987. He served as Deputy Commissioner of Police of Ahmedabad Crime Branch and was later promoted as DIG. He has worked as DIG, Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Ahmedabad.

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