Dahyabhai Gobarbhai Vanzara (popularly known as D G Vanzara), the Gujarat IPS officer who earned the sobriquet of “encounter specialist” in the post-2002 era, will retire on May 31 in Sabarmati Central Jail, where he has been in judicial custody in three alleged fake encounter cases. His retirement comes even as the other IPS officers, booked in the same cases, are out on bail.
The state government will perform the formality of revoking his suspension and simultaneously pass a separate order of his retirement on May 31, the day Vanzara turns 60. He will be entitled to temporary pension (locally known as kaam chalau pension) which will be about 100% of the regular pension minus the gratuity which is around Rs 10 lakh.
“The government will withhold the gratuity till cases against him is pending. The rule is that if a person is proven guilty, his pension would be cut depending upon the crime. In some cases, pension is reduced to zero, but it varies from case to case,” said a senior police officer. The state government has started the procedure for the formality.
Vanzara, who belongs to Ilol village in Sabarkantha district, joined the Gujarat police in 1980 as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) through the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC). Seven years later, he was promoted to IPS rank. Vanzara rose to fame as the “super cop” between 2002 and 2006 as DSP at Ahmedabad’s Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) and Deputy Inspector General of police (DIG) in the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). During these years, the DCB faced charges of carrying out five encounters in which eight people were branded as dreaded terrorists, who had planned to kill chief minister Narendra Modi, and killed. They included two women — Ishrat Jahan and Kauser Bi. The latter was killed to wipe out evidence as she was a witness to the killing of her husband, Sohrabuddin Sheikh.
These encounter killings included Samirkhan Pathan (2002), Sadiq Jamal Mehtar (2003), Ishrat Jahan (2004; three others were also killed along with her), Sohrabuddin Sheikh (2005) and Tulsiram Prajapati (2006). In 2007, Vanzara was arrested by the CID (crime) in Sohrabuddin encounter case when he was posted as DIG (Border Range), along with his juniors, Rajkumar Pandian and Rajasthan cadre IPS Dinesh M N, and other low-rank officers.
Vanzara created a ripple last year when he shot off his “resignation letter” to the Gujarat government, openly condemning former State Home Minister and current BJP general-secretary Amit Shah, hailing chief minister Narendra Modi as his once-upon-a-time “God”. While the government did not accept the resignation, the CBI examined the letter, but discarded it as inconsequential to the case. The CBI, while giving a clean chit to Amit Shah on Wednesday in the Ishrat Jahan case, continued…