Once favourites, now foes — that’s what suspended IPS officer DG Vanzara and other senior police officers are as far as former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah is concerned. Vanzara and five other IPS officers from Gujarat have been implicated in various fake encounter cases along with Shah, who is out on bail.
Vanzara has in his 10-page resignation letter, which has been rejected by the Gujarat government, made a scathing attack on Shah, who has turned from mentor to villain for him and others like GL Singhal, who was arrested in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Vanzara, lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail, is a key accused in three fake encounter cases involving the killing of eight persons. Singhal is a suspended SP currently out on bail in the Ishrat case.
Vanzara, who had enjoyed prized postings when Shah was junior home minister, is now full of contempt for Shah, whom he accused of “introducing the much-despised divide-and-rule policy in the state police force.”
Vanzara alleges in his resignation letter that in order to remain in Gujarat and contest the December 2012 assembly elections in the state, Shah single-handedly “sacrificed” the police officers when he approached the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case from Gujarat to Mumbai.
“I sincerely believe and state that but for the legal and political intrigues, machinations and manoeuvrings of Amit Shah, the trial of the Sohrabuddin case would have not gone out of Gujarat,” Vanzara states in the letter. “The verdict of shifting of trial was beyond my wildest imagination”.
“The cruel act of transferring the case out of the state has increased the agony of the jailed police officers on the one hand and multiplied the hardships of their family members on the other,” he adds.
With the shifting of the trial, the custody of the accused officers lodged in Gujarat jails also shifted to the Mumbai jail, which proved extremely difficult. At least they could meet family members and friends and have home food as undertrials in Gujarat.
“He (Shah) also forced us to suffer more in Mumbai and face costly trials which none of us could afford,” Vanzara says.
Another factor that dealt a big blow to the police officers was Shah’s plea to the apex court to combine the Sohrabuddin case with the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case, so he could not be rearrested in the same case.
“By converting the two cases into one, he elevated them into the rare category of triple murder,” Vanzara states.
He described Shah’s acts as “self-centric” and accused him of playing with the lives of the jailed officers and their families.
According to a lawyer connected with the case, Shah ditched the officers after they were arrested and hardly made attempts to provide them any assistance.
Evidently, there are no permanent patrons in the dangerous world of fake encounters.