Ahmedabad: Moments after walking out of jail after almost eight years, former Gujarat deputy inspector general of police DG Vanzara, one of the accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jahan’s encounter case, has said that the Gujarat Police were targeted for “extra political reasons”.
“Ache din [Good days] for me and other police officers are back,” Vanzara was quoted as saying by television channels after coming out of the Sabarmati Central Jail on Wednesday. He further added,”Gujarat Police were targeted for extra ploitical reasons.” Ache din ayenge [Good days will come] was one of the poll slogans of the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
D G Vanzara, 61, is one of Gujarat’s most controversial police officers. Earlier this month, he was granted bail in the Ishrat Jahan case, one of two “fake encounter” cases against him, on the condition that he will not enter his home state Gujarat.
He had been granted bail in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh murder case in 2014. He was a Deputy Inspector General of Police when he was arrested in March 2007 and had been in jail since.
Mr Vanzara and other top police officers are accused of killing 19-year-old college student Ishrat Jahan and three others in 2004 and, in a separate case later, a petty criminal Sohrabbudin Sheikh, his wife and Tulsiram Prajapati, a key witness.
Mr Vanzara and the other police officers claim they were killing terrorists who wanted to assassinate Narendra Modi, who was then chief minister of Gujarat. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says the civilians were killed in cold blood.
Today, Mr Vanzara said, “Anti-terror operations happen in every state. But Gujarat Police was a victim of politics. It was unfairly targeted for political reasons.”
He refused to comment on a resignation letter he had written from jail in 2013, in which he accused Amit Shah, who was Home Minister of Gujarat and is now BJP chief, of being in the know of the police officers’ plans to counter the civilians, who he maintained were terrorists from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Mr Vanzara’s resignation was not accepted and he retired last year, while still in prison.