Sohrabuddin case: DG Vanzara welcomes acquittal of all police personnel, says entry into politics not priority

Rajnish Mishra | Dec 22, 2018 | 5 min read


Politics later, want to see myself, fellow officials acquitted in other cases: D G Vanzara

Rajnish Mishra

Gandhinagar: The former DIG of Gujarat who was one of the accused in the fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh welcomed the acquittal of all the policemen and said he's looking forward to courts declaring policemen not guilty in other such cases as well.

“We became victims of political cross-firing between the then occupants of power in Delhi and Gandhinagar,” said Dahyaji Gobarji Vanzara, popularly known as DG Vanzara, on Saturday, a day after the verdict of the CBI court.

In an interview, he also said that he would like to enter politics but his first priority was to get acquitted in the remaining two cases including Ishrat Jahan encounter case. He indicated that he also wanted to write a book about the whole affair once he is cleared of all the charges in the remaining cases.

The former DIG, who was already acquitted in the Sohrabuddin case in August 2017 along with 16 others including the then MoS Home of Gujarat Amit Shah and then Rajasthan Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria, said that court judgment in Sohrabuddin case, acquitting all 22 police officers has vindicated his stand that the encounters were genuine: They were wrongly framed despite rightfully performing their duties.

“Terrorists had in the past successfully assassinated political leaders like former PM Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Punjab CM Beant Singh, former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto and Sri Lankan president Premdasa. Had post-Godhara preemptive encounters including the Sohrabuddin one not carried out by Gujarat Police, the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi would have met the same fate. We saved the saviour,” he added.

On being asked whether the recent acquittals have given a boost to his defence in other such cases including Ishrat Jahan encounter case of June 2004, in which a local CBI court had rejected his discharge plea a few months ago, Vanzara said, “The series of encounters took place and all were in similar background and contexts. If acquittal has happened in one of these then naturally it will be followed or should be followed in other cases too. If one gate of the fort has been broken the others will also be broken.”


The former top cop claimed that he needed acquittal in just Ishrat Jahan case to come out clean personally but as the leader of the then police team, it was his responsibility to see to it that all the other accused police officials in other cases also get acquitted and get justice.

“I was arrested in Ishrat Jahan case and was released on bail but in the other case i.e. Sadik Jamal encounter case, I am not arrested so far or my name was not there but as it was also the part of the same strategy, my responsibility is to get all the officers acquitted in all the cases,” he said.

The former cop was, even after getting bail in all the cases, not allowed to enter Gujarat by the Bombay High Court for quite some time. “It (the acquittal of other accused in Sohrabuddin case) was naturally a matter of pleasure and I personally feel relieved. And since the other police officers have also got justice, my pleasure has multiplied,” he said.

Politics in offing

When asked about his earlier announcement of entering into active politics and the reasons behind the delay, Vanzara said that his first priority was to come out clean in all the cases and entering politics has become secondary.

“I am already in the public life. I am moving around the state and participating in non-political and social activities. So far as my entry into politics is concerned, it depends on so many factors. Basically I will like to come out of the cases first and then do whatever I like to. Priority was to get discharged in the remaining cases. Entry into political entry is secondary now,” he said.

“It was common people who expected that I should join politics but I will have to think from so many angles before taking a plunge,” he said.

Vanzara, who had written three poetry books during his jail term, also hinted that after getting the clean chit in all the cases, he could write a book about all this.

The Sohrabuddin case

The CBI in its chargesheet had alleged that Sohrabuddin, an alleged gangster, his wife Kausar Bi and his aide Tulsi Prajapati were abducted by the Gujarat police from a bus when they were going to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the intervening night of November 22 and 23, 2005.

Sohrabuddin was killed in an alleged fake encounter on November 26 near Ahmedabad while his wife was killed three days later and her body disposed of. On December 27, 2006, Prajapati was also shot dead allegedly by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in an alleged fake encounter near Chapri on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.

Vanzara's earlier acquittal in this case by the lower court was also upheld by the Bombay High Court.

A special CBI court in Gandhinagar had in August this year, however, rejected his discharge plea in Ishrat Jahan case of June 2004, when Ishrat a 19-year-old Mumbai girl along with three others was shot dead by police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The CBI had termed it a fake encounter while Vanzara and the other accused maintained that it was a genuine one and those killed were LeT operatives who had come to Ahmedabad with an intention to assassinate the then CM Narendra Modi.

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