Ahmedabad: In a major embarrassment for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, DG Vanzara, a top IPS officer considered close to him, has resigned from service accusing the state government of having failed to protect the interest of policemen jailed for encounter deaths while implementing its "conscious policy".
The development came on a day Congress demanded Modi`s resignation in the wake of a sting operation claiming to "expose" a plan by senior BJP leaders to save his key aide Amit Shah in Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case.
Controversial IPS officer Vanzara, who has so far rejected charges of fake encounter killings during Modi`s tenure, accused the government of failing to protect officers who fought against "Pakistan inspired terrorism".
In his 10-page explosive resignation letter addressed to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) dated September 1, Vanzara, lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail in connection with a string of alleged fake encounter cases, said the accused officers and men "simply implemented the conscious policy" of the state government.
In his hard-hitting letter, Vanzara said if policemen could be sent to jail for alleged fake encounters, the place of the state government "should either be in Taloja central prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad."
"I would like to categorically state in the most unequivocal words that the officers and men of Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range, during the period between 2002 to 2007, simply acted and performed their duty in compliance of the conscious pro-active policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism of this government after Godhra riots," he said.
"Gujarat CID and Central agency CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases holding us to be responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters.
"If that is true then the CBI investigating officers have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from the very close quarters," Vanzara said.
"By this reasoning I am of the firm opinion that the place of this government instead of being in Gandhinagar, should either be in Taloja central prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad," he said.
Vanzara accused the state government, particularly former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah of betraying him and 32 other officers, in jail in encounter killing cases being probed by the CBI.
The suspended officer blamed Shah, currently a BJP general secretary, for shifting Sorabuddin Sheikh encounter killing case transferred outside Gujarat.
"The crux of the whole matter is that it was just to facilitate his trivial personal interest of fighting Gujarat Assembly Elections of 2012 that Amit Shah got the trial (Soharabuddin encounter case) transferred and betrayed our trust reposed in him whereby he forced us to suffer more and more..." Vanzara said.
He said he used to adore Modi like God, who could not rise to the occasion under the "evil" influence of Shah, a co-accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases.
Vanzara, who was unsparing in his attack on Shah for the plight of policemen jailed in fake encounter killing cases, was sarcastic while referring to Modi.
"...I have been maintaining my graceful silence for such a long period only and only because of my supreme faith in and highest respect for Chief Minister Narendra Modi whom I used to adore like God," he said.
However, he also expressed his frustration with Modi, saying, "...But I am sorry to state that my God could not rise to the occasion under the evil influence of Amit Shah who usurped his eyes and ears and has been successfully misguiding him by converting goats into dogs and dogs into goats since last 12 years."
"Chief minister of Gujarat has very rightly been talking of repaying his debt which he owes to Mother India. But, it would not be out of context to remind him that he, in the hurry of marching towards Delhi may kindly not forget to repay the debt which he owes to jailed police officers who endowed him with the halo of brave chief minister among the galaxy of other chief ministers who do not bare the same adjective before their names," Vanzara said.
"I state with all my humility that, but for the sacrifices made by me and my officers in thwarting the onslaught of initial disorder in the state the Gujarat Model of Development which this government is so assiduously showcasing at the national level would not have become possible," Vanzara said.
The suspended officer, who is a prime accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of Tulsiram Prajapati, Sadik Jamal, Mumbai student Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh, and two alleged Pakistani nationals Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, dubbed the Gujarat government as "spineless" when it came to protecting its own officers.
"...I have to state in nutshell that this spineless government of Gujarat which is valiant only in words otherwise coward in deeds and impotent in actions has ceased to command my allegiance, trust and loyalty," he said.
"...And that is why this government has no reason to keep me continued in its service nor I have a reason to continue to be in the service of this government even for a single day," he said.
Earlier in the day, Congress had demanded Modi`s resignation alleging an attempt was being made to cover up the alleged fake encounter killing case of Tulsi Prajapati.
"The facts, which have been shown in the CD are very serious and important.
This is an attempt to influence the judicial process. The matter should be investigated by the CBI and till the probe is over, Modi should not remain in office. He should resign.
"How can he remain Chief Minister when such allegations have come out," AICC Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken told reporters in Delhi at a special briefing.
Maken was addressing the media a day after a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court against BJP MPs Prakash Javdekar and Bhupendra Singh Yadav alleging that they tried to impede investigation in Prajapati case in which Amit Shah is the main accused.