Four days after a CBI court granted bail to suspended IPS officer PP Pandey in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, Gujarat government today revoked his suspension and reinstated him in service.
“The state government has revoked the suspension order of PP Pandey and appointed him on the vacant cadre post of Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Gujarat state, Gandhinagar,” an order issued by state Home Department said.
A senior officer from the State Home Department said, “His suspension was revoked after seeing the court order where he has been granted bail. We were waiting for his letter to us and after we received his letter stating that he wants to be back to the force and after receiving it we decided to reinstate him. After a detailed discussion with the concerned departments, he has been posted at the vacant post of Additional DGP (law and order)”.
The 1980 batch IPS officer, Prithvi Pal Pandey was arrested in Ishrat Jahan encounter case in July 2013. Pandey was the additional DGP (CID) Crime during the time of his arrest.
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After spending an year and half inside the Sabarmati Central Jail, Pandey walked out of the prison on Thursday with a sigh of relief and a determination to be back to the Gujarat Police.
When the CBI began investigating the case, Pandey was on the peak of his seniority and was also being considered for the post of the Gujarat Police chief.
However as the investigation in the case progressed, the CBI tightened it’s noose around Pandey. Pandey who is the senior most officer to be arrested in any encounter case of Gujarat had shocked the Gujarat Police by going “missing” for 90 days when he remained untraceable.
After his ‘missing’ act when Pandey appeared before the CBI court in Ahmedabad before in July 2013, he got himself admitted in a hospital complaining of bad health and appeared before the court with Swami Akhileshwardasji, a member of VHP and Jagannath Temple Trust besides him for consolation.
The second time Pandey had gone missing for 15 days was after appearing in front of the CBI court. At this time, he had taken shelter in his friend and VHP member Swami Akhileshwardasji’s ashram near Kotarpur Waterworks where Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan and her aides Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Jishan Johar were killed in encounter.
Pandey was the Joint Commissioner of Police in Ahmedabad Crime Branch in 2004 during the time of the encounter and was chargesheeted by the CBI for abduction, murder, conspiracy, illegal confinement of Ishrat Jahan and her aides.
With this appointment, Pandey is the only officer from those arrested in fake encounter cases, to have received an important posting. The other officers SP Girish Singhal and SP Abhay Chudasama were posted in Armed Unit and State Vigilance Department respectively while SP Vipul Aggarwal was posted at NHRM (National Rural Health Mission )after they were reinstated back to Gujarat Police.