IPS officer who probed Sohrabuddin encounter case seeks early retirementhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/ips-officer-who-probed-sohrabuddin-encounter-case-seeks-early-retirement-5331992/

IPS officer who probed Sohrabuddin encounter case seeks early retirement

Sources said that IPS officer Rajnish Rai wrote a letter, dated August 24, to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), stating that he “wants voluntary retirement for personal reasons”.

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IPS officer Rajnish Rai

Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai, who had probed Sohrabuddin encounter case and arrested his colleagues, then DIG D G Vanzara among others, has sought voluntary retirement reportedly for “personal reasons”. Rai had also reported about a fake encounter by the Army in Assam.

While Rai could not be reached for comments, sources close to him said that he wants to get into academics and therefore has sought early retirement.

At present, Rai is posted at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh at the Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism (CIAT) School of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Sources said that he wrote a letter, dated August 24, to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), stating that he “wants voluntary retirement for personal reasons”.

Sources in the MHA said that Rai is facing several inquiries, including in the case of his report alleging fake encounter by the Army in Assam. “The inquiry is about to be completed and further decision will be based on the outcome”, MHA sources said.

An IPS officer of 1992 batch, Rai has had several run-ins with the Gujarat government after 2007, the year he led the arrest of about a dozen police officers in the alleged Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

In several litigations before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Rai had stated that “his investigative action in April, 2007 (arrest of policemen in the Sohrabuddin encounter case) became defining events for the displeasure and bias of the state (Gujarat) government…”

In an order, dated January 12, 2015 issued by the CAT, Rai’s run-ins with the Gujarat government has been mentioned in detail. The order was issued on his application challenging his transfer to Jaduguda in Jharkhand as chief vigilance officer of Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) on central deputation. The court had allowed his application following which he was given a fresh posting to Shilong in the CRPF.

The order mentioned that soon after his probe into the Sohrabuddin case, his ACRs (annual confidential reports) for the period from April 1, 2007 to August 22, 2007 were “downgraded” and that was communicated to him after “a delay of more than two years in contravention of the rules”. He had blamed police officers — O P Mathur and PC Pande — for it. Both the officers were charge-sheeted in the Sohrabuddin encounter case and were eventually discharged by the court.

After his transfer to Shillong, he filed a report claiming that two operatives of the NDFB(S) in Chirang (Assam) were killed in a fake encounter by the Army, Assam Police, Sashastra Seema Bal and CRPF on March 30, 2016.

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While he was chief vigilance officer of UCIL, he had filed a report on alleged “misconduct” by the CMD and functional director of the UCIL. His report claimed to have unearthed a major corruption in the UCIL. However, the MHA chargesheeted Rai for probing “without due approval of the competent authority and submitted his investigation reports directly to the CBI, Ranchi without consulting CVC/DAE in violation of the CVC guidelines”. Rai then moved the CAT, Hyderabad bench, which stayed the inquiry against him in October 2017.