Former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, arrested by the CBI in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, is believed to have orchestrated two fake encounters by shifting former Deputy Inspector General of Police DG Vanzara across various posts.
According to the CBI probe, Shah played a role in twice transferring Vanzara to positions that helped him kill Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauserbi and aide Tulsiram Prajapati.
“As Vanzara moved from one post to another, the conspiracy unfolded and the killings occurred,” said a CBI officer.
It began in July 2005 when, at the behest of two Rajasthan marble traders, the decision to kill Sohrabuddin, an alleged extortionist, was taken. Shah, along with Vanzara and SP Rajkumar Pandian, allegedly hatched a plan to eliminate Sohrabuddin.
In accordance with their plan, Prajapati and Sohrabuddin were pressurised by suspended DCP Abhay Chudasama into firing at an Ahmedabad builder’s office. A case against unidentified persons was then registered by police at Navrangpura.
Just as the Navrangpura police began the probe, the case was transferred to the Ahmedabad City Crime Branch. The reason, said the CBI officer, was that Vanzara was DCP (crime).
On July 29, however, Vanzara was shifted to the state Anti-Terrorism Squad as DIG (operations). “Shortly after, the
case, too, was transferred to ATS Ahmedabad,” said the officer.
Vanzara took over the Navrangpura firing case and promptly named Prajapati and Sohrabuddin as the accused. Vanzara and Pandian then abducted Sohrabuddin, Kauserbi and Prajapati on the night of November 22-23 near Tandola village.
Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed on November 26, in Ahmedabad; Kauserbi was similarly killed though her remains are yet to be found.
The task at hand now was to “silence Prajapati since he was a material witness in the case”, said the officer. For this, Vanzara was again transferred from ATS to Border Range, which comprises Banaskantha district, where Prajapati was killed in a fake encounter on December 28, 2006, he said.