Ahmedabad: Suspended Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara, one of the accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Tulsiram Prajapati and Ishrat Jahan fake encounter cases, resigned from the police force on Tuesday after alleging that Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been shielding his close aide Amit Shah at the cost of the police officers. While claiming that Modi was his 'god', Vanzara said that he decided to quit from the service because the Gujarat government ditched him and other police officers in the fake encounter cases.
Vanzara accussed Modi of being under the "evil influence" of Shah, and letting him and other police officers down, saying that he had only followed government policy in the encounter cases.
"I, along with my officers stood beside the government like bulwark whenever it faced existential crisis in the past. We expected the government to reciprocate and stand firmly by officers which to my surprise could not happen," he said in his 10-page resignation letter written from inside the Sabarmati Central Jail where he is presently lodged.
"I maintained silence for so long because of my faith in and highest respect for Modi, whom I adore like god. But, I am sorry to say that my god could not rise to the occasion under the evil influence of Amit Shah," he said.
Vanzara was arrested by the CBI following his transfer to Sabarmati Central jail in Ahmedabad from Mumbai. He was in Mumbai jail as an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter killing case of 2005. He is also accused in the Tulsi Prajapati encounter killing case.
Vanzara was the most trusted police officer of Modi and Shah. The officer popularly known as an encounter specialist has been in the jail for the last 6 years for his involvement in the fake encounter killings, but now he seems to be broken down, writing a no-holds barred letter targeting the Gujarat government.
"I and my officers feel ditched and disowned and there remains no reason for us to trust the government and its ace strategist Amit Shah, who proved to be completely self centric in handling serious encounter cases," he said.
He accused Amit Shah of completely destroying the state police force with his policy. "Amit Shah introduced the policy of divide and rule coupled with equally dirty policy of use the officers and throw them."
He also hit out at Modi, saying, "The Chief Minister of Gujarat has very rightly been talking of repaying his debt which he owes to Mother India. It indeed is the sacred duty of every citizens to do so. 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 the jailed police officers who endowed him with halo of brave Chief Minister."
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party defended Modi, calling the allegations painful. Gujarat BJP spokesperson Jai Narayan Vyas said, "Vanzara is under suspension, so his resignation does not matter. I'm not surprised by it. Those who stay in the jail for so long, it might be the anger and frustration behind this," he said.
The Congress took a potshot at Modi over the Vanzara letter. Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said, "The Gujarat government has ill-treated their officers is now evident from Vanzara's resignation. The CBI is already investigating the matter, so the truth should come out soon."
Union Minister Kapil Sibal said, "Earlier he used to defend his police officers. Whether it was Amit Shah or PP Pandey or Vanzara. But later all of them were accused."
Vanzara, as per the CBI complaint, had led a team of Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ahmedabad, which was involved in the killing of Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and two alleged Pakistani nationals Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana on June 15, 2004 on the outskirts of the city.
He is the seventh Gujarat police officer and second IPS officer who has been arrested in the case by CBI. Earlier, the central probe agency had arrested IPS officer GL Singhal, Tarun Barot, JG Parmar, NK Amin, Bharat Patel and Anaju Chaudhary.