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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Excerpts from Vanzara’s letter: Modi was my god

Excerpts from the jailed Gujarat IPS officer's resignation letter accusing govt of ditching officers.

Written by Express News Service |
September 4, 2013 12:59:56 am

To Addl Chief Secretary (Home),

Government of Gujarat

I,D G Vanzara,DIG of Police (under suspension),undertrial prisoner No. 4826 in Sabarmati Central Prison,hereby tender this resignation with renunciation of all post-retirement benefits on the following grounds:

…While I was serving as DIG,border range,Kutch-Bhuj,I was arrested in the Sohrabuddin encounter case by the CID (crime) of Gujarat on April 24,2007. Along with other police officers,I was lodged in Sarbarmati Central Jail till November 22,2012. I was also arrested in the Tulsiram encounter case by the CID (crime) on July 7,2010. After my shifting to Taloja Central Prison,the CBI opened two more cases,the Sadiq Jamal encounter case and the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

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As on today,apart from nine Gujarat/Rajasthan police officers in Taloja Central Prison,there are 22 other officers/men in different jails in Gujarat,[a total of 32 including six IPS officers… Most of them had served under me. I have been making ceaseless efforts on behalf of all of them to persuade this government to be of assistance to my officers and me… With the passage of time,I realised this government was not only not interested in protecting us but has also been clandestinely making all efforts to keep my officers an me in jail so as to save its own skin from the CBI and to gain political benefits.

This government suddenly became vibrant only when Amitbhai Shah,former MoS (home),was arrested. Ram Jethmalani,the most learned,senior-most and highest paid advocate of India,appeared on behalf of him and got him released on regular bail within a record three months. In contrast,when I,along with Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M N,was arrested,nobody from the government bothered even to provide lip service to my family.

In spite of all its acts of treachery,I was gradually reconciling myself with this government when a skylab in the form of a Supreme Court order for the transfer of the Sohrabuddin trial to Mumbai fell on us from New Delhi. With all regard for the Supreme Court,I sincerely believe that but for the legal and political manouevrings of Amitbhai Shah,the trial of the Sohrabuddin case,followed by that of the Tulsiram case,would not have gone out of Gujarat.

The crux of the matter is that it was just to facilitate his trivial personal interest of fighting the assembly election of 2012 that Amitbhai Shah got the trial transferred. As if this was not enough,he also managed the merger of the Tulsiram encounter case into that of the Sohrabuddin encounter to prevent his arrest in the second case [and closed the doors of regular bail to the police officers.

Under the circumstances,my officers and I feel ditched and hence there remains no reason for us to continue to trust this government and its ace strategist Amitbhai Shah,who proved himself completely self-centred. He has reduced himself to a mere custodian of the political interests of the Gujarat government,which he is jealously guarding. He has been playing with our lives without an iota of qualms of conscience.

I have been observing from 2002 that Amitbhai Shah as MoS,home,had been mismanaging a sensitive department like police… He introduced a British policy of divide and rule coupled with an equally dirty policy of use-the-officers-and-[discard-them by spreading misinformation about them. A situation so [arrived that no one in the department trusted the other; everyone perceived the other to be a potential spy or rival [and as if daggers were drawn,[they were out to harm or finish each other. The MoS (home) lost all credibility and the confidence of police officers and vice versa,which ignited the “yadavasthali of fratricidial police wars” in Gujarat that was later exploited by the CBI… So much so that the MoS,home,himself fell into the grave he used to dig for others.

I realised the truth in the statement of Mahatma Gandhi who observed,“States are soulless machines… governments have no conscience…” The only way open to my officers and me is to adopt the path Guru Govind Singh ordained to his disciples: “When all the doors for getting justice are exhausted,it is dharma to draw the sword.” Accordingly,I have a moral justification to expose the real culprits behind the encounter cases by calling a spade a spade.

I,therefore,would like to categorically state in the most unequivocal terms that the officers and men of the crime branch,ATS and border range,during the period 2002 to 2007,simply acted in compliance with the conscious policy of this government in the context of the following circumstances:

The monstrous episode of the Godhra train burning and the equally horrible post-Godhra riots provided a pretext to Pakistan-based terrorist outfits to “convert Gujarat into another Kashmir” by exploiting the sentiments of Muslims all over the world. A series of acts of terrorism took place. It was in this context that “the proactive policy of zero tolerance for terrorism” was adopted by the government at the highest level of its hierarchy. The policy was most efficiently implemented by the police in general and by the crime branch and the ATS in particular.

I can say with pride that my officers and men could not only prevent Gujarat from becoming another Kashmir but were also instrumental in providing a solid atmosphere of durable peace and security… I state with all humility that,but for [our sacrifices,the “Gujarat Model of Development” this government is so assiduously showcasing at the national level would not have been possible.

I used to get dozens of calls from the biggies of Gandhinagar who probably saw a saviour in me/my officers,but by the time I/my officers had outlived my/their utility and were arrested,nobody bothered to formally ask how we were!

The CID/CBI arrested my officers and me holding us responsible for carrying out allegedly fake encounters. If that is true,then the CBI investigating officers for all four cases have to arrest the policy formulators too as we,being field officers,have simply implemented the policy of this government,which was inspiring,guiding and monitoring our actions from very close quarters.

The logic is simple: the government and police officers are sailing on the same boat and have to swim or sink together. I would like to state in the most unambiguous terms that this government,through the dirty tactics of Amitbhai Shah,is managing only for itself… while ditching the police officers. By adopting such a suicidal path,this government,I am sure,is hastening its own death by drowning.

The Chief Minister of Gujarat has very rightly been talking of repaying the debt he owes Mother India. But it would not be out of context to remind him that he,in the hurry of marching towards Delhi,may kindly not forget to repay the debt he owes the jailed police officers who endowed him with the halo of a Brave Chief Minister among a galaxy of other CMs whose names do not carry the same adjective.

Let me also put on record that I have been maintaining my graceful silence for such a long period only because of my supreme faith in and highest respect for Narendrabhai Modi,Chief Minister of Gujarat,whom I used to adore like a god. I am sorry to state that my god could not rise to the occasion under the evil influence of Amitbhai Shah,who usurped his eyes and ears and has been successfully misguiding him by converting goats into dogs and dogs into goats for the last 12 years. His unholy grip over the administration is so complete that he is almost running the government of Gujarat by proxy.

I have to state in a nutshell that this spineless government,which is valiant only in words [and otherwise cowardly in deeds and impotent in actions,has ceased to command my allegiance,trust and loyalty.

…I say goodbye to the Gujarat Police,of which I had been a proud member for the last 33 years.

D G Vanzara

IGP (under suspension)

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