The CBI in the Bombay High Court (HC) has stressed at suspended Gujarat IPS officer D G Vanzara’s alleged collusion with another suspended IPS officer Abhaysinh Chudasama in “eliminating Sohrabuddin Sheikh”. Relying on a chart, the investigating agency has stressed on Vanzara’s complicity in fake encounters of Sheikh, his wife Kauserbi and eye-witness Tulsiram Prajapati, and opposed his bail plea.
The Supreme Court had on March 28 this year granted bail to Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian and former sub-inspector Ahmedabad Anti-Terrorism Squad B R Chaubey. On April 28, the Bombay HC, in light of the SC’s order, granted relief to three policemen, including former Gujarat SP Chudasama.
The CBI on Thursday mentioned excerpts from its chargesheets in its chart and used it to distinguish Vanzara’s role from those of the other accused granted relief of bail. CBI lawyer Hiten Venegaonkar told Justice A M Thipsay that the chart distinguished the role of Vanzara in the conspiracy. “D G Vanzara was the head of Gujarat ATS and he played a crucial role in the entire case,” said Venegaonkar.
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“He (Vanzara) is in conspiracy with Abhay Chudasama and Amit Shah stage-managed Navrangpura firing incident and threatened Patel brothers to give statement against Sohrabuddin. They used the elimination of Sohrabuddin for extortion,” read CBI’s chart.
The CBI had arrived at this after recording the statements of witnesses, including Raman Patel and Dashrath Patel, who had contended that their Popular Builders’ office on December 8, 2004 was staged by senior Gujarat police officers and others to create a criminal record against Sheikh in the state and to extort money. The CBI has also said Vanzara was part of the team who cremated and disposed off Kauserbi’s body near Illol village. “Vanzara lit the match and burnt the pyre. Vanzara and Chudasama used Tulsiram Prajapati in tracking down Sohrabuddin,” the chart further read.
Vanzara, who has sought bail on parity grounds and completed seven years in prison on April 27, contended that Pandian was granted bail by the Supreme Court. He argued in his bail plea, “There was prima facie evidence against Pandian proving his presence at the time of Sohrabuddin’s killing.” “It is necessary to consider that, the evidence shows that Pandian was involved in the abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kauserbi,” he said in support of his argument.
“Amit Anilchandra Shah is also prime and key conspirator and kingpin in the offence. The fact remains, Amit Shah is also enlarged on regular bail by the High Court of Gujarat,” Vanzara’s plea read.
While seeking the reprieve, he contended that though the CBI has filed a chargesheet, the trial has not seen the light of the day. Vanzara has also relied on the Bombay HC’s April order granting bail to the three policemen. Along with the suspended officer, two police officers associated with the Rajashthan police — Himanshu Singh and Shyansingh Charan — have sought the relief from Bombay HC.
Vanzara’s bail plea was earlier rejected by a Ahmedabad Sessions Court and Gujarat High Court. Justice Thipsay has posted the matter for July 1.