Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara, chargesheeted in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and the Ishrat Jahan encounter cases, on Monday filed a Rs 101-crore defamation case against Mufti Abdul Qayum Mansuri for giving “false, derogatory and baseless information” in his book Gyarah Saal Salakhon Ke Peeche (11 years behind the bars). The book launched earlier this year in New Delhi is a memoir of Mansuri’s 11 years in a Gujarat jail as a convicted terrorist sentenced to death for his “role” in the 2002 Akshardham attack case, fending off police conspiracies and fabricated evidence.
Acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2014 along with five other accused, Mansuri in the book has alleged that after his arrest in 2003, he was tortured in the custody of Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), Ahmedabad. The names of Vanzara and IPS officer G L Singhal, who were then supervising the case as DCB officials, figure prominently in the memoir along with that of several other police officers.
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Vanzara has filed a case against Mansuri, Jamiat-e-Ulema Maharashtra, Jamiat-e-Ulema Ahmedabad, Madarsa Tarbiyatal Atfalna, Rasoolbhai Moonlight, Maulvi Nizamuddin Saheb. The plea was filed in the additional sessions court of JV Pandya who posted the matter for hearing on July 31.
Vanzara’s lawyer V D Gujjar told the court that whatever was written in the book was without any basis or proof, and its content were “highly objectionable”. As Vanzara was confined to Mumbai as per the bail conditions in both — the Sohrabuddin and the Ishrat — encounter cases, his family members were present in the sessions court.
In the application, the former Gujarat DIG said he was only a supervisory officer in the Akshardham attack case and not the investigating officer. He claimed the investigating officers were briefed by him and many other senior police officers in the state.
He dubbed the book as a work of fiction, which has been aimed at defaming him.
Mansuri was arrested by DCB on August 29, 2003, around 11 months after the terror attack on the temple in Gandhinagar that left 33 dead and 86 injured. Mansuri and four other acquitted persons have sought legal action against Vanzara and Singhal among others, and have also sought compensation through a petition in the apex court.