Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Gujarat govt wants to harm me: top cop

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: July 3, 2013 3:31 am

Senior IPS officer Satish Verma,who assisted CBI in the ongoing 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case,has accused the Gujarat government of being malicious.

Arguing against his “arbitrary and illegal” transfer from the post of Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) in Ahmedabad to principal of Police Training College at Junagadh last year,Verma told the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Tuesday that it was part of a “concerted plan” with the intent to “harass and wrongfully harm” him.

Verma’s counsel I H Syed told the CAT bench here that state government’s decision was based on whimsical reasons and in the guise of “public interest and administrative exigency”.

The bench,while adjourning the matter,asked Syed,“Would you say public interest and administrative exigency are whimsical?” The bench asked him to explain both the terminologies before coming to a conclusion in the next hearing on July 25.

Verma,a 1986-batch IPS officer,had filed this petition before CAT last year,alleging that his transfer to Junagadh within 16 months.

Ahmedabad posting (JCP traffic) was arbitrary and malicious since he had not toed the government line,right from bringing to book rioters from the “ruling party” during the post-Godhra violence to the Ishrat case where he exposed the encounter to be fake.

“With this backdrop of the Ishrat Jahan encounter case and the attitude and conduct of the Government of Gujarat regarding it,and its intense dislike of the applicant’s work in investigating that case,the government has the intent to harass and wrongfully harm the applicant. That intent has translated into a calibrated and well-timed plan of retaliatory action against him. The applicant’s impugned posting to Junagadh is a part of that concerted plan,” Verma’s petition says.

“The applicant (Verma) was Superintendent of Police of Jamnagar district during the infamous 2002 Gujarat riots. Even though it is communally sensitive,the applicant ensured peace was not at all disturbed. Not even one noteworthy untoward incident had occurred there,” the petition adds.

Verma has been at loggerheads with the state government ever since he became a member of Gujarat High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) which established that Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a staged encounter by Gujarat Police.

Apart from alleging the “state-sponsored obstruction” in the investigation,Verma has claimed in his petition,“The applicant was appointed as additional CP,Sector-2,Ahmedabad city,in May 2002. He had significantly contributed to the quick restoration of peace in Ahmedabad city by reigning in the aggressor elements from the outfits affiliated to the ruling party in Gujarat.”

“As Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police of Border Range in Kutch-Bhuj during 2003-05,the petitioner had ordered the arrest of the sitting Member of Legislative Assembly (Shankar Chaudhary of BJP) of the ruling party from Radhanpur constituency in Patan district in an offence of murder of two persons during the riots of 2002 by inflicting injuries on them with sharp-edged weapons and then shooting and burning their bodies,” the petition said.

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