Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi/Ahmedabad: DG Vanzara’s stinging accusations on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah may take a legal turn with reports, Wednesday, suggesting the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may quiz the renegade cop over contents of the explosive letter written by him.
The CBI is said to be going through the letter with a fine sieve to indentify a reference, if any, to the direct involvement of Modi and Shah in the alleged fake encounters.
After closely studying the contents of the letter, the CBI will decide on whether questioning of Vanzara is necessary for the investigations in the Ishrat Jahan, Sohrabuddin and other such encounter cases.
In a damning 10-page resignation letter addressed to the state home department and the CBI Director, Vanzara alleged that the Modi government was reaping the political benefits of encounter cases while keeping the police officers, who stood by the government whenever it faced existential crisis, in jail. However, the Gujarat government today rejected his resignation.
“I would like to categorically state that officers and men of Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range, between 2002 and 2007, simply acted and performed their duty in compliance with the conscious pro-active policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism of his government after the Godhra riots,” Vanzara wrote in the letter.
Vanzara, under custody since 2007 in the Sohrabuddin encounter case, is also a prime suspect in the Tulsiram Prajapati, Sadiq Jamal and Ishrat Jahan encounter cases. After the Supreme Court clubbed the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati cases in 2012, Vanzara was sent to Taloja jail near Mumbai from Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad.
However, after his arrest in the Ishrat Jahan case on June 4, 2013, he was brought back to the Sabaramati jail. One June 29 he had complained of chest pain and was hospitalized.
In his resignation letter, Vanzara further accused the state government of ditching police officer and their families while protecting Amt Shah (then minister of state for home).
“This government became vibrant and displayed a spur of activity only when Amit Shah was arrested by CBI. Ram Jethmalani, the most learned and highest-paid advocate was engaged for Amitbhai Shah, who appeared on behalf of him at all levels of courts and got his released on regular bail within three months of his imprisonment. I , with Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN was arrested, nobody from the government even provided lip service to us or our families.”
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.
"...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.
"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.
Clearly, the allegations have come at a most inopportune moment for Narendra Modi, considering the efforts being put in by the RSS to ensure that he is named BJP’s PM candidate before the upcoming assembly elections in four states.
Officially, the Gujarat government has dismissed the allegations and Vanzara’s resignation as ‘administrative issues’ but the letter bomb has surely hit them hard, especially because it comes from Vanzara, who was considered to be among the most loyal officers despite being in jail for seven years.
In Delhi, BJP’s spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi dubbed the resignation and allegations by Vanzara as a creation of “Congress dirty tricks department”.
The Congress has sought a probe in to the allegations made by Vanzara and demanded that Modi should step down to facilitate probe.