Stung by the strongly worded resignation letter of Gujarat’s encounter specialist police officer D.G. Vanzara indicting Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the State government is learnt to have decided against forwarding it to the Centre while speculation is rife among police circles about who will be the next loyalist cop to turn the heat on the administration.
Officially, however, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) S.K. Nanda only said the letter was under scrutiny but highly placed sources claimed that the government might not be in favour of accepting Mr. Vanzara’s resignation given the embarrassment it has caused to Mr. Modi.
The 1987 batch IPS official is under arrest and suspension for his alleged involvement in at least four fake encounter cases.
In his 10-page letter dated September 1, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mr. Vanzara, who was considered close to Mr. Modi, trained his guns on the Chief Minister and Amit Shah, former Minister of State for Home and now BJP general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh.
He asserted that the officers who sincerely implemented a “conscious policy” of the government were being made to languish in jails after their utility was over. In his letter, Mr. Vanzara maintained that he would consider himself relieved from service with effect from September 1 even if the government did not accept his resignation. And, he was ready to “sacrifice all hard-earned post-retirement benefits.”
With the Chief Minister’s strongest loyalist coming out in the open against him, police circles are agog with speculation about who from the 32 cops in jail in fake encounter cases could be the next to go public against Mr. Modi.
Earlier, Superintendent of Police G.L. Singhal, who is among the seven policemen accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, quit from service though he had not openly spoken against the government. However, when the State was resisting a CBI probe into the case, Mr. Singhal and others pleaded with the Supreme Court to order an inquiry by the Central agency.
The buzz is that after Mr. Singhal and Mr. Vanzara, IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounters, is likely to put in his papers. He is a Superintendent of Police.
Similarly, another “suspect” is suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police N.K. Amin, who is allegedly involved in the killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kauserbi besides that of Ishrat Jahan and others.
Interestingly, Mr. Amin had proposed in a CBI court to turn approver in 2010 within 24 hours of the agency filing a charge sheet in the Sohrabuddin case. It was during the court proceedings that he withdrew his application under pressure, sources claimed.
Another case is of inspector Ashish Pandya, who was injured in the Tulsiram Prajapati encounter but has been accused of shooting on his own shoulder. He has filed an application before the special CBI court to guide him in the process to turn approver.