Controversial police officer DG Vanzara hinted at joining politics on Friday as he returned to a rousing reception in Gujarat, nine years after he was arrested in two alleged fake encounter cases.
Holding a sword in one hand, Vanzara — a former Gujarat inspector general of police who was known as an encounter specialist — said he is starting a “Vikas Janandolan” (movement for development) and defended his encounter record.
“If there were no encounters, Gujarat would have turned into another Kashmir. We are done with the fielding. Now, it’s our turn to bat,” he said.
Vanzara was one of the key accused in two fake encounter cases — the killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004, and of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005 — and spent eight years in jail after his arrest in April 2007. He was released on bail last year but was restricted from entering Gujarat. Last week, a special CBI court relaxed his bail conditions, paving the way for his return.
“From today, Gujarat’s issues are my issues. I am not happy with prevailing conditions. But it calls for two hands to clap. Later, it can be in the form of politics or (by joining) any party,” he said.
He said the testimony of Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley had made it clear that the encounters were genuine. During a recent deposition, Headley had called Jahan an LeT member. “The country has come to know in the past 2-3 months that how politicians for their vested interest came out with conspiracy after conspiracy and jailed the nationalist police officers from Gujarat,” he said.
Vanzara was the last of eight Gujarat police officers to get bail in the alleged fake encounter cases. When in jail, he wrote a scathing letter where he blamed current BJP president Amit Shah for his arrest. But on Friday, he called it “a matter of past”.
“The current government is a nationalist one. I think the government will not make any compromise on its nationalist ideology,” he said.