Why DG Vanzara’s Letter Matters. And Why It Should Bother Narendra Modi

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Explosive revelation DG Vanzara’s letter will be damaging for Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. Photo: AP
Explosive revelation DG Vanzara’s letter will be damaging for Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. Photo: AP

Suspended police officer DG Vanzara has been in jail for the past six years for his role in four fake encounter cases. In a damning 10-page resignation letter to the Gujarat government, the former DIG, ATS, Gujarat Police, says a lot of things that should be a cause for worry to Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

EXCERPT

“Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases, holding us responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters. If that is true, then the CBI investigation officers of all the four encounter cases of Sohrabuddin (Sheikh), Tulasiram (Prajapati), Sadiq Jamal and Ishrat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government, which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from very close quarters… I’m of the firm opinion that the place of this government, instead of being in Gandhinangar, should either be at Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai or at Sabarmati Central Prison in Ahmedabad.”

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“I most respectfully would like to submit and state that I, along with my officers, stood beside this government like a bulwark whenever it faced an existential crisis in the past. When I, along with my officers, have been facing a similar crisis in my/our life/lives, it was expected of this government to reciprocate and firmly stand beside me and my officers with a similar vigour and determination, which to my utter shock and surprise, could not happen”

***

“I realised that this government was not only not interested in protecting us but it also has been clandestinely making all efforts to keep me and my officers in jail so as to save its own skin from the CBI on one hand and gain political benefits on the other. It is everybody’s knowledge that this government has been reaping very rich political dividends, since last 12 years, by keeping the glow of encounter cases alive in the sky of Gujarat, while otherwise, remaining in the low profile and indifferent to the fate of jailed police officers”

***

“On the contrary, apprehending the arrest of political leaders of Gujarat by the CBI, all efforts, legal and political, were made by this government to ensure that none of us was released on bail so as to prevent the investigation going from the hands of Gujarat CID to the Union CBI. The most heartless and shameful act of betrayal on the part of this government was that when (IPS officers) Dinesh MN and Narendra Amin got released by their own individual efforts, it got their bails cancelled at the earliest opportunity and pushed them back behind the bars of Sabarmati Central Prison”

***

“MoS, Home (Amit Shah) lost all credibility and confidence vis-à-vis police officers and vice versa, which ignited the “yadavasthali of fratricidal police war” in Gujarat, which was later on exploited by the CBI, opening the floodgates of politico-legal problems for this government on one hand and involving “patriotic police officers” in a number of encounter cases on the other”

***

“I therefore, would like to categorically state in the most unequivocal words that the officers and men of Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range, during the period of years between 2002 and 2007, simply acted and performed their duties in compliance of the conscious ploy of this government in the context of the following circumstances…
Gujarat, having very long coastal and land border with Pakistan, was virtually on the path of becoming another Kashmir. It was in this context that “the proactive policy of zero tolerance for terrorism” was adopted by the government of Gujarat at the highest level of its hierarchy. The said policy of the government was most effectively implemented by the Gujarat Police in general and the Crime Branch and ATS in particular”

***

“When Gujarat was burning under the inferno of jihadi terrorism, I used to get daily dozens of phone calls from the biggies of Gandhinagar who probably saw a saviour in me/my officers, but, by the time I/my officers outlived my/their utility and were arrested by the CID/CBI under the very nose of this government, nobody bothered even to formally ask us as to how we were! It is unbecoming of this government that it, in this regard, has been proved good for nothing and has miserably failed in protecting its “loyal soldiers” who fought against cross-border terrorism at its behest, while remaining in the vanguard of war. This immoral government, therefore, by all means, has forfeited its right to have a place in Gandhinagar, the city whose proud name is associated with Mahatma Gandhi, the tallest moral leader of the world”

***

“Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases, holding us responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters. If that is true, then the CBI investigation officers of all the four encounter cases of Sohrabuddin (Sheikh), Tulasiram (Prajapati), Sadiq Jamal and Ishrat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government, which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from very close quarters. By this reasoning, I’m of the firm opinion that the place of this government, instead of being in Gandhinangar, should either be at Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai or at Sabarmati Central Prison in Ahmedabad”

***

“Mutual protection and reciprocal assistance is the unwritten law between the police and the government in such cases. As the government has miserably failed in protecting its encounter police, there remains no one-sided obligation on part of me to protect the traitors sitting in this government who have almost pushed patriotic and nationalist police officers into the jaws of death”

***

“The logic is very simple, i.e., government and police officers are sailing in the same boat and have to swim or sink together. No one should try to outsmart the other and try to swim at the cost of the other, neither government nor the police officers. I would like to state in the most unambiguous words that this government, through the dirty tactics of Shri Amitbhai Shah, is unfortunately managing only for its own self so as to swim and continue to prosper in all directions, while ditching the police officers so as to sink and allow them to die an unnatural death by drowning”

***

“Gujarat Police, by my own experience as a police officer, used to be one of the finest and well-managed forces in the country until the coronation of this government in Gandhinagar. Today, the same proud police of Gujarat stand totally shattered and demoralised in the context of what happened to it in the light of the continuous betrayal of jailed police officers in the past six years”

***

“I have to state in a nutshell that this spineless government of Gujarat, which is valiant only in words otherwise coward in deeds, and impotent in actions, has ceased to command my allegiance, trust and loyalty. And that is why this government has no reason to keep me continued in its service, nor have I a reason to continue in the service of this government even for a single day”

***

“As of today, I have been sacrificing the seventh year of my precious life in different jails in Gujarat and Maharashtra for the sake of the love for my country and now I’m ready to sacrifice all the hard-earned post-retirement benefits for the sake of the same lofty love for my country and my nation”

***

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Reactions

Kapil Sibal: Vanzara’s letter is both revealing and disturbing. Revealing because Vanzara claims that he only implemented what the authorities asked him to do. It is disturbing because those authorities are the ones who happen to be in power in Gujarat. He talks of God’s who have feet of clay because they choose to discard people after having used them. Those involved must meet the same fate that Vanzara is liable to meet.

Prashant Bhushan: From his resignation letter it is clear that Vanzara is tired and frustrated after spending time in jail. The letter also seems like a pressure tactic. The letter further corroborates the available evidence on the fake encounters in Gujarat. It’s also clear now, that whatever Vanzara and his colleagues did, was at the behest of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. It shows that fake encounters were Gujarat government’s policy and these encounters were orchestrated from the top.


Tehelka Coverage

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5 COMMENTS

  1. In No way is DG Vanzara blaming NaMo or Amit Shah for encounters. He is accusing Amitshah of negligence which is is no way a criminal offence.

  2. Frankly, I don’t see this letter blaming Narendra Modi for encounters. If anything, it vehemently justifies that encounters were in line of duty to prevent terrorism while being highly respectful of Narendra Modi maybe even to point of sycophancy. If anything, it blames Amit Shah for bad governance and leadership.

    I am no great supporter of Modi but the headlines from a respected journalist betrays the content of letter. The context of letter sounds like critique of lack of support for officers by state who had done their duty. It is very strange the way Tehelka has sounded the headlines; seems the journalists involved have been more emotional than critical

  3. Wowwww… finally there it is a big fish! Is the truth finally about to emerge into our public lives? Isn’t the days of the two big, nasty fish over? May be they can stop their Delhi-march and write their wills?

  4. Sad, but possibly very true, considering how our politicians operate. They will ride over others if they can save their own skins, unmindful of who they destroy in the process.

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