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It wouldn't be the first time news stories reporting unfavorably on BJP President Amit Shah vanished from news websites without explanation. At other times, news organizations have been under tremendous pressure to redact stories, transfer editors and otherwise silence inconvenient news from reaching the masses. Here are some notable stories that vanished from several sites without any official redaction or explanation offered:

Journalists and news organizations that faced pressure over journalistic work that shows Amit Shah's potentially illegal dealings:

Please free to suggest stories this list misses in the comments.

Even by the plummeting standards set in the last few months, the decision of the special CBI court in discharging Amit Shah, (accused no. 16 in the second chargesheet; accused no. 1 in the third chargesheet) in the Sohrabuddin encounter case, seems outrageous.

The Special CBI court without waiting for even the trial to commence, without weighing the evidence at length, seems to have suddenly concurred with the defence and the ruling party’s view that Amit Shah was caught in a political trap. Why this impatience with the process of the trial? And Shah is no ordinary accused, or accessory with a side role: he is accused of being the “king pin” or the mastermind of the triple murder.

“The entire record considered in totality”, says the court does not indicate to Shah’s role, and hence discharged him. However, what is the entire record? Even a simple, cursory looks suggest that in fact it is not hearsay but solid evidence of call details records, witness statements recorded under 161 and 164 CrPC, as well evidence of systematic and direct interference by Shah in the state CID probe into the encounter.

If the call details records were totally insignificant and proved nothing, why was there such a concerted effort to suppress all such information that pointed to Shah’s role?

The state CID investigations, which first led to the arrests of the senior police offcers, had taken on record phone call details between Shah and accused police officers. However, once the Supreme Court directed the transfer of investigation to the CBI, the CID failed to hand over the CD containing these phone conversations. A total of 331 conversations had been deleted from the record.

(“Another top cop under scanner for ‘erasing’ Amit Shah reference in CD” by Neeraj Chauhan andUjjwala Nayudu, Indian Express, 27 July 2010.

Link here: http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/another-top-cop-under-scanner-for--erasing--amit-shah-reference-in-cd/652299)

Shah attempted to sabotage CID enquiry

IGP Gita Johri, who was made in charge of the state CID investigation, recorded in Part B of her first report, how Shah attempted to sabotage the enquiry.  She has recorded that though she and the Investigating Officer Solanki did not face any “hurdle” initially, “However, as soon as the statements of witnesses pertaining to confinement of Sohrabuddin and Kausarbi in the Farm House of Shri Girish Patel at Ahmedabad came to be recorded, it came to the knowledge of Shri Vanzara and Shri Rajkumar Pandian [two of the accused officers]. It is further learnt that these officers brought the above facts to the notice of Respondent No. 2, Shri Amit Shah, Minister of State for Home, Government of Gujarat.”

It further states that Shah “brought to bear pressure” on the enquiry process, resulting in the enquiry papers being taken away from her “under the guise of scrutiny”. He “directed Shri G.C. Raigar, Additional Director General of Police, CID (Crime & Railways) to provide him with the list of witnesses, both police and private, who are yet to be contacted by CID (Crime) for recording their statement in the said enquiry. Such direction of Minister of State for Home goes beyond the scope of his office, was patently illegal and apparently designed to provide the same list to accused police officers ... so as to enable them to take measures in their defence.”

(See “Geetha Johri report speaks of ‘collusion of State government’”, By Neena Vyas, 5 May 2007,The Hindu. Link here: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article1838149.ece)

Creative Reading by the CBI Court:

The CBI court did not entertain a note written by Gita Johri, in which the sentence “systematic efforts on the part of the state government” was struck out. The CBI’s case had been that this sentence had been omitted under Shah’s political pressure, whereas the court interpreted it to mean that Johri was not happy with the investigation done by the investigating officer. This is a flight of fancy, if there can be one.   In fact, it is a matter of record that Johri’s initial investigation, before she was removed, proved to be path breaking. However, when she was reinstated, she took a complete U-turn. So chaffed was the apex court with her that he chastised her, while praising the investigation of the IO Solanki. The Supreme Court observed the following:

“69. We have observed that from the record, it was found that Mr VL Solanki, an investigating officer, was proceeding in the right direction, but Ms Johri had not been carrying out the investigation in the right manner, in view of our discussions made here in above. It appears that Ms Johri had not made any reference to the second report of Solanki, and that though his first report was attached with one of her reports, the same was not forwarded to this Court.

  1. In the present circumstances and in view of the involvement of the police officials the State in this crime, we cannot shut our eyes and direct the State police authorities to continue with the investigation and the charge-sheet and for a proper and fair investigation, we also feel that CBI should be requested to take up the investigation and submit a report in this Court within six months from the date of handing over a copy of this judgment and the records relating to this crime to them.”

(Rubabuddin Sheikh v State of Gujarat reported in (2010) 2 SCC 200, p. 217.)

The Special CBI Court cannot act as though none of this happened. The “entire record” in fact points to Shah’s involvement. The conspiracy is that of three cold-blooded murders. By terming Shah’s implication in the triple murder fake encounter case as a political conspiracy carried out by CBI under directions from a rival political party, the special CBI court has cast aspersions on the Supreme Court which was monitoring the investigations closely at all stages.

Disregarding the statements of key witnesses:

The special CBI court also disregarded the statements of key witnesses: namely, the Patel brothers, Dashrath and Raman, proprietors of the successful Popular builders. Their statements to the CBI details how money was extorted from them and how they were being forced by Vanzara and cohorts to give a statement against Sohrabuddin. The statement describes a meeting as well telephonic conversation with Shah. This has been recorded under 164 CrPC, and yet this is not deemed evidence but hearsay?

One can only say that the pusillanimity of the CBI in first, not contesting Shah’s application of exemption from appearing before the court in encounter cases, then not challenging the bail to senior police officer N.K. Amin in the Supreme Court, then responding to Shah’s voluminous discharge application and marathon three day arguments with a perfunctory 15-20 minutes argument by a junior lawyer, had already made matters clear. The die had been cast on 16th May itself, when Amit Shah delivered the rich harvest of seats for the BJP.

But what it has exposed is the rot in our institutions: the u-turn of the CBI, the reinstatement of the accused cops on duty, some of them, such as Abhay Chudasma, being given coveted posting in the Vigilance squad. Worst of all, what it has shown is the abdication of even a modicum of judicial independence.

Released by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (31st December 2014)

Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases, accepting his excuse that he was engaged in political work in New Delhi. Shah, 49, the first serving Home minister of a state to have gone behind bars in a criminal case of murder and conspiracy had a legitimate reason to skip court hearings. He was presiding and taking part in day-long meetings in Delhi with senior RSS leaders and BJP functionaries who were all set to seal his fate as the next BJP President.

Amit Shah Narendra Modi BJP
Amit Shah becomes President of BJP in spite of extremely dubious credentials

There is a significant back story to his exemption which did find its way as a small snippet in the media but needs to be brought to light as Shah, the man who waved the magic wand for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the PM’s confidante and the number two in the government now takes over the reins of the party. Amit Shah had twice in the past sought exemption from personal appearance citing political work, but the then CBI judge JT Utpat had found his excuse inadequate for the court to grant him relief. On June 20, while hearing the application, Utpat allowed the same but made a scathing remark “Everytime you are giving this exemption application without assigning any reason,” he told Shahs counsel. In less than a week, Utpat was transferred to a Pune court before he could preside over Shahs discharge application. Shah managed his way out with a tried and tested formula of transferring judges, practiced brazenly in his home state of Gujarat through his tenure as Home Minister.

As a journalist covering Gujarat extensively since 2005, as someone who exposed Shah’s role in the fake encounters in the state and who can claim to have knowledge of his political trajectory, I would not mince my words in suggesting that by appointing Amit Shah as the president of the party, the BJP has hugely disrespected the law of the land and signalled an all time low for the criminal justice system of India. For the cases against Shah are for crimes so gruesome that the cloak of political astuteness will be too short to cover it.

In its chargesheet filed in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the CBI which had been investigating the case under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court of India had not just named Shah as one of the key accused and conspirators but also named him as the head of an extortion racket which involved underworld thugs, politicians and businessmen. In its submission before the apex court bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan, the CBI stated that the minister was in cahoots with senior cops from Gujarat including the likes of DG Vanzara and Abhay Chudasama who had been sentenced for cold-blooded murder – concluding that Shah was a hardcore criminal. Shah was also chargesheeted in the murder of Kauser Bi, the wife of Sohrabuddin who according to the official papers was raped, sedated, killed and her body burnt and thrown in a river.

One could have well debated the merits of the CBI chargesheet and read political motives but for the fact that the Supreme court itself gave CBI the sanction to arrest Shah at the same time, coming down harshly on the Gujarat state police investigation led by the then top cop Geeta Johri for going slow and misleading the courts. If the SIT verdict on Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat encounters is to be held as the final word, by virtue of it being monitored by the apex court, it is baffling then that Narendra Modi who promised clean and transparent governance to this country and setting up fast track courts to look into cases of criminal charges against politicians has turned a blind eye to Shah’s criminal past.

Shah has been Modi’s confidante since his days as a pracharak in Gujarat and Maharashtra. With Shah's induction on the national scene first as the General Secretary of the BJP and now as the BJP President, Modi has risked his own political image for the sake of his ally and friend who has put to shame the best political pundits and strategists from North India with his shrewd manoeuvring. In the coming days, the party will have to prove its popularity not just in the by-elections of Uttar Pradesh but also in the forthcoming Assembly Elections in three states, the most significant being the battle for Maharashtra. Party insiders have stressed on Maharashtra being a prestige battle for Modi whose party swept the Lok Sabha elections a couple of months ago. Going by the minutes of the internal meetings held between Modi, Shah and senior heads in the BJP and the RSS, the Prime Minister has silenced his detractors in the party who were against Shah's elevation citing his ability to churn out big numbers.

Many in the Gujarat BJP believe that Modi has been under tremendous pressure by Shah to return the favours he has allegedly bestowed on his mentor in the last two decades of their association. It’s a well known fact that during Modi's rebellion against former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and in his fight with the ex-Home Minister of Gujarat Haren Pandya, it was Shah who stood firmly by Modi's side galvanizing the cadres and leaders in favour of his boss.

As the second in command in the Modi dispensation, the youngest minister in his cabinet who held charge of twelve ministries including the powerful Minister of State for Home, Shah single-handedly thwarted all trouble that came in the way of Modi with his office getting the infamous tag of the “dirty tricks department of the CM”. It was under his tenure as Home Minister that the Gujarat police went on a spree of fake encounters in the state – holding regular press conferences for the media with the bodies of the alleged assassins on display. The officers would claim that the Gujarat CM was under threat from jihadists who were out to assassinate the man who brought back Hindu asmita in Gujarat.

While the chief minister managed to leave unscathed during the investigations of most of the encounters which were later pronounced as fake, Shah found himself listed as the prime accused in three encounters, his role in the other two being probed by the CBI with investigations in the case still on.

Another major dent in Shah's image came with his alleged involvement in the Snoopgate scandal, in which he is heard instructing one of his key lieutenants – IPS officer GL Singhal who was then incharge of the ATS, to carry on surveillance on a young woman. The tapes which were released late last year created a furore after it became obvious that Shah as the Home Minister of the state was using state machinery to snoop on innocent civilians, monitoring their moves. In this particular case, a young woman whose movements, including aspects of her personal life were being reported to the CM on a daily basis.

With such serious criminal charges against him, has Modi denigrated the position of the party president by handing over Shah the reins of the party. Would it now be safe to assume that Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted against the interests of the judiciary by rejecting the nomination of Gopal Subramaniam as a Supreme court judge as he was also the amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Ever since the Prime Minister assumed office, ex-CBI directors including Ashwini Kumar and AP Singh who were at the helm of affairs in the CBI during the investigation of the encounters, find themselves being at the receiving end of Shah's wrath. While Kumar has stepped down as governor of Nagaland, AP Singh is reportedly under pressure to step down as member of the UPSC after the Income Tax department served notices to him and his family members in an investigation into alleged tax evasion by meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

These could all well be coincidences if one were to take a larger liberal view of the developments including the transfer of 89-year-old ailing governor of Gujarat Kamla Beniwal, who under her tenure locked horns with Modi and Shah over the appointment of Lokayukta in the state. But even if one were to dismiss these actions against officials, lawyers, judges who played significant roles in the criminal justice process involving Amit Shah as conjectures, will it not be pertinent to suggest that by appointing Shah as the BJP President, Modi has acted in contradiction to his promise of a free and fair government, which will have no space for vindictiveness. Hasn't Modi and the BJP under the guidance of the RSS just made the first attack on the principle of clean governance on the basis of which the party came to power? Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to answer this one.

This piece is authored by journalist & writer, Rana Ayyub. She tweets at @RanaAyyub. Sharing it here with the consent of the author.

As if the Gulail-Cobrapost expose by journalists Ashish Khetan and Raja Choudhary, on the surveillance conducted by Guarat police of a young woman under the verbal orders of Amit Shah (who was the Home Minister of Guarat in 2009 when this surveillance happened), acting on behalf of Narendra Modi were not enough, the BJP appears to have abdicated all interest in even a superficial interest in the law in their absurd defense of what should have been an alarming situation for them as well. screenshot from video sting of stalking Gulail and Cobrapost have released a video with selections from hundreds of recorded phone conversations and three statements made to the CBI by Gujarat IPS officer G L Singhal (who is accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter and currently out on bail) and a CBI Panchnama. The conversations are chiefly with Narendra Modi's sidekick, ex-Home Minister of Guarat, since arrested for encounter killings and now out on bail and handling BJP's election campaigning in Uttar Pradesh (which promptly flared in religious riots). hardly the kind of babysitter a concerned father would want spying the daylights out of his daughter. screenshot of video sting of illegal surveillance The Stalkers expose clearly establishes that the verbally ordered surveillance that deployed state police and ATS officers to conduct surveillance of a girl was neither official nor was the girl a suspect. The extent and intensity of the surveillance is stunning and the video has to be seen to be believed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roVZrT2_xuc Cobrapost's commentary on the video nails the broader issue:

The tapes indicate that for at least over a month the Gujarat Police apparatus used its sweeping powers to rigorously monitor every private moment, every personal conversation and every daily movement of Madhuri. Singhal has told the CBI that the surveillance was illegal and was carried out only on the oral instructions of Shah. The recordings reveal that Madhuri was tailed even as she visited shopping malls, restaurants, ice-cream parlours, gyms, cinema halls, hotels and airports. She was followed even when she visited her ailing mother in a hospital in Ahmedabad. When she boarded a flight out of Ahmedabad, orders were issued to put cops on the flight so that she was not out of sight even when she was flying. Strict orders were given to closely observe and profile those who met her. Shah was particularly interested in knowing the men she was meeting and whether she was alone or with some man when she checked into a hotel in Ahmedabad. Her phones and that of her family and friends were tapped. Every bit of information was conveyed to Shah in real time, who in turn claimed to be relaying it to his ‘saheb’. Listening to the conversations leaves no doubt that the people involved in the operation knew who this ‘saheb’ was. Such was the importance attached to the surveillance operation that many senior state police officials were instructed to personally supervise the movements and activities of the woman. Besides Singhal, who was at that time posted as a Superintendent of Police with the ATS, the then IG (Intelligence) A.K. Sharma, the then Deputy SP (CID Intelligence) DB Vaishnav and then DCP (Crime) Abhay Chudasama were some of the other senior officers who were roped in for the operation. At present, Sharma is posted as Joint Commissioner of Crime in Ahmedabad city. While Vaishnav has retired, Chudasama is cooling his heels in jail on charges of stage-managing the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter. The phone recordings in possession of the CBI primarily contain conversations between Singhal and Shah. Some conversations are between Singhal and other state police officers such as A.K. Sharma, Vaishnav and the then Bhavnagar SP Rajendra Asari. All conversations were recorded by Singhal between August 4, 2009 and September 6, 2009. At many places in the tapes, Shah can be heard complaining that Singhal’s men were not doing a thorough job as ‘saheb’ was obtaining information about her movements from his independent sources and his information network was at times more efficient than that of Shah.

In a welcome, but astonishing development, the BJP, that has so far made a fine art out of claiming allegations without evidence as proof of innocence, immediately released a statement by the girl's father accusing Gulail and Cobrapost of exploiting a family matter and stating that it was he who had asked Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whom he knew personally, to "take care" of his daughter while she visited Gujarat. The sinister sub-text here is that the BJP (who released the letter) sees nothing wrong with state resources and state funds being deployed in illegal surveillance of a citizen to serve personal connections. But the obsessive attention to details by the "saheb" who now turns out to be the Chief Minister cannot be merely explained by someone doing a favor to a family friend.

illegal surveillance expose screenshot
Saheb knew that she had gone out when the people conducting the surveillance didn't.

So this release by BJP establishes several things:

  1. The "saheb" Amit Shah repeatedly refers to as having an interest in every detail about the girl is none other than Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
  2. Narendra Modi and his sidekick Amit Shah deployed state resources for illegal stalking of a woman.
  3. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah spied on her personal life and that of men she interacted with, including in at least one instance orders to prevent a man from going to Mumbai after she took a flight there and one instance of instructions to jail him if needed. None of this official, or related to any interest of the state.
  4. Phones of Madhuri and her family and friends were illegally tapped to serve the interests of a private citizen without any official procedure, reason or record.

Stalking is stalking and it does not make it prettier if it is the father ordering it from the cops through his connections with a Chief Minister.

illegal stalking by the state
Modi also seemed to be monitoring the girl through other means

Singhal's statement before CBI also states that he was verbally instructed to conduct illegal surveillance of senior ICS officer Pradeep Sharma (then Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner). The video includes recordings of Amit Shah instructing Singhal to engage the assistance of Bhavnagar Superintendent of police Rajendra Ansari in spying of the Municipal Commissioner to find out if he was in touch with the girl and if they were meeting. ICS Pradeep Sharma had also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in May 2011 (2 years later) alleging that he was being framed in bogus corruption cases by the Gujarat government and the reason for this was Chief Minister Narendra Modi association with a young woman. Gulail and Cobrapost assert that the name of the woman in the petition was the same as this girl's name - which could be a coincidence, but seems unlikely.

I ant him in jail for as many days as Vanzara has been jailed for. ~ Amit Shah
I ant him in jail for as many days as Vanzara has been jailed for. ~ Amit Shah

This conversation is particularly telling. It talks about someone who seems to be evading their attention and traveling to Mumbai who Amit Shah wanted arrested for as long as Vanzara was. (Vanzara is a cop jailed for fake encounters who wrote a lengthy letter after Godman Asaram was arrested, claiming to be betrayed by the state and Amit Shah whose interests he protected and claimed the fake encounters as his patriotic duty. This happened in 2009, before the letter was written, of course. Looks like Vanzara's faith in Amit Shah wasn't that misplaced, after all, though Vanzara continues to rot in jail. Maybe Amit Shah can give him company.) Amit Shah: Did you talk? Singhal: Sir, I did and according to him surveillance cannot be done at Shahibagh by his men. Amit Shah: No no... it can be done from a distance. What is happening, where his car is, etc Singhal: Sir I have talked to them, but even then I'll talk again. Amit Shah: Or you deploy one of our men there. Singhal: Ok sir Amit Shah: Then? Singhal: I just checked his mobile location and it shows in Bhavnagar. Amit Shah: He must have left the instrument there, he was in Mumbai. Singhal: Ok sir. Amit Shah: You check it out Singhal: Sure sir... Amit Shah: He must have left the phone at home Singhal: yes Amit Shah: he has an additional number. I will ask A K Sharma to give it to you Singhal: I have taken three numbers from him and two are showing locations in Bhavnagar and I have to check the third one. Amit Shah: Two at Bhavnagar? Singhal: Yes Amit Shah: Check the third Singhal: Yes, I will check it. Amit Shah: Where is the sister? Singhal: She is sitting near at Navrangpura near Havmor Amit Shah: With the same boy? Singhal: With the same boy. Amit Shah: I want him in jail for as many days as Vanjara has been jailed for. Singhal: yes sir Amit Shah: You be brave. No matter how big the person, put him in jail The tape goes on and on as it follows the girl literally everywhere and there is no way that this is not stalking. The fact that the father has clarified that he asked for this surveillance of his daughter from Modi makes it nothing more than the father ordering an illegal spying of his daughter - would hardly be the first time for parents to gang up with misogynist thugs to monitor and control the social interactions of girls. That the state was used to do this is only doubly horrifying. The fact remains that the girl was an adult professional and perfectly capable of asking for help if she needed it as well as answering questions about where she went and who she met if she wanted her father to know it. My guess is that the father's letter was a hastily thought up cover up by the BJP that has backfired, since I cannot imagine the father conveniently having an issue with ICS Pradeep Sharma as well, who very conveniently was targeted by the state in bogus corruption exposes - as per his petition in the Supreme Court. If the state went to the extent of filing bogus corruption cases against a Municipal Commissioner as a part of "taking care" of the daughter of a personal friend of the Chief Minister, it is even more horrendous. But I doubt that is what happened. What is clear is that regardless of the motive, a girl who was not a suspect in a crime and indeed was promoted as "protected" by the Chief Minister was comprehensively stalked in a way that would fit in a thriller - and not in the character of the good guy. No way how BJP tries to spin this, they seem to have admitted, indeed advertized that the person pulling the strings in this abuse of this woman's rights was Modi. Rajnath Singh has gone on record defending these actions and blaming Cobrapost for the sting instead.

The girl's father has also given a statement that he had asked Modi, with whom he had family relations, for security for his daughter. The head of the government is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the people. Modi was only performing his dharma. ~ Rajnath Singh

Perhaps it is time that along with election speeches, BJP listed out the laws it is willing to respect and the ones it will break at will when it gets the whim to harm citizens.

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I found that there didn't seem to be text versions of Vanzara's resignation letter, so here is one.

 

D.G. Vanzara, IPS DIG of Police
(under Suspension)
Sabarmati Central Prison
Ahmedabad.

Date- 1-9-2013

To,

Addl. Chief Secretary
Government of Gujarat
Home Department
Sachivalaya
Gandhinagar

Sub: Tendering of resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post-retirement benefits

Sir,

I, undersigned, D.G. Vanzara, DIG of Police (under suspension) an under trial prisoner No. 4826, residing at 1, Sardaryard, Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad do hereby tender this resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post-retirement benefits on the following grounds:

I am a 1980 batch direct DySP and 1987 batch IPS officer born on the Gujarat cadre. I have been providing my humble services to the people of Gujarat since last 33 years. During the period of years from 2002 to 2006, I initially served as a Deputy Commissioner of Police/Addl. Commissioner of police in the Crime Branch of Ahmedabad city and, later on, I served as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, ATS, Ahmedabad, Gujarat state.

Lastly, while I was serving as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Border Range, Kutch-Bhuj, I was arrested in ATS Police Station I CR No.- 5/05 (Shohrabuddin encounter case) by the CID Crime of Gujarat on 24-4-2007. Since then I am continuously placed under suspension till date.

I, along with other police officers, was lodged in Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad, Gujarat wherein I remained till 22-11-2012. Meantime, I was also arrested in Ambaji Police Station I CR No.- 115/2006 (Tulasiram encounter case) by CID Crime of Gujarat on 7-7-2010 for which I had been undergoing the concurrent along with that of Shohrabuddin encounter case in the same jail.

Thereafter, as per the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the trial of Shohrabuddin encounter case was transferred to Mumbai. Hence, I along with other officers, was shifted to Taloja Central Prison, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, with effect from 23-11-2012. Thus, I along with other officers, have been continuously kept in the jails of Ahmedabad and Taloja since last more than six years.

Meantime, the case of Tulasiram encounter is also merged with that of Shohrabuddin encounter by the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. Consequently a single trial is being conducted by the Hon'ble Special Judge of CBI in Greater Mumbai.

After my shifting from Sabarmati Central Prison to Taloja Central Prison, CBI opened two more encounter cases at Ahmedabad i.e. (i) DCB Police station I CR No. - 3/2003 (Sadique Jamal encounter case) and (ii) DCB Police Station I CR No. 8/2004 (Ishrat Jahan encounter case). Apart from me who is arrested in DCB Police Station I CR No.- 8/2004 (Ishrat Jahan encounter case) on 04-6-2013, other police officers who worked in Crime Branch, Ahmedabad city, are also arrested in the said two encounter cases, and they are kept in the custody of Sabarmati Central Prison. Some of them are released on default bails.

Thus, as on today, apart from 9 Gujarat-Rajasthan police officers kept in Taloja Central Prison, there are 22 other officers / men who are kept in the different jails of Ahmedabad, Nadiad, Vadodara and Palanpur in the State of Gujarat amounting to total 32 police officers/ men which includes 6 IPS officers. Names of 6 more IPS officers are figuring in the chargesheets of Tulsiram and Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

To the best of my knowledge, nowhere in any part of the country, such a big number of police officers were/are arrested and continuously being kept in the jails for such a long period of time except in the state of Gujarat. The most notable part of the whole episode is that they are made to suffer in the jails, inspite of the fact that they had been and are loyal soldiers of this government who fought incessant war against, Pakistan inspired terrorism with complete honesty, integrity and sincerity without falling prey to any of the mundane temptations.

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 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.

Apart from very few senior officers who are arrested recently / shown accused in the different charge-sheets, most of imprisoned police officers/men had served under me as my juniors in the past during my tenures either at Crime Branch, Ahmedabad city, ATS-Gujarat or at Border Range Kutch-Bhuj, I, being the senior most officer and being one among them in the jail, have been making ceaseless efforts on behalf of all of them, to persuade this government to be of some use and assistance to me and my officers which, I am sorry to state, had not been fruitfully paid attention to. Verbal consolations given by this government, time and again, had been proved to be invariably hollow and deliberately misleading.

With the passage of time, I realized 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 the jail so as to save its own skin from 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.

This government suddenly became vibrant and displayed a spur of sincere activities only when Shri Amitbhai Shah, former MOS, Home, was arrested by CBI. It so happened that Shri Ram Jethmalani, the most learned, senior most and highest paid advocate of India was engaged for Shri Amitbhai Shah who appeared on behalf of him at all levels of courts, right from the lowest CBI court, to Special Court, to High Court, to the Apex court of India and got him released on regular bail within record time of 3 months of his imprisonment.

In contrast, when I, along with Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M.N, was arrested by the CID Crime, forget about providing the legal services, nobody from the government bothered even to provide a lip service to us or to our family members. On the contrary, apprehending the arrest of political leaders of Gujarat by 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 Union CBI. The most heartless and shameful act of betrayal on the part of this government was that when Dinesh M.N., 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. Since then, my officers are made to compulsorily languish in the different jails for none of their faults. The only fault, if that is to be construed as a fault, which they committed was that they performed their duties diligently and served their country well under the direct instructions from this government.

Inspite of all such acts of betrayal and treachery, I was gradually reconciling myself with this government, when a skylab in the form of Supreme Court order of transfer of Shohrabuddin trial to Mumbai, fell on us from New Delhi, which was beyond wildest of my imaginations. With all regards for Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, I sincerely believe and state that but for the legal and political intrigues, machinations and maneuverings of Shri Amitbhai Shah, the trial of Shohrabuddin encounter case, followed by that of Tulasiram encounter case, would not have gone out of the state of Gujarat. It goes without saying that the cruel act of transferring the case out of the state has increased the agony of the jailed police officers on one hand and multiplied the hardships of their family members on the other.

And the crux of whole matter is that it was just to facilitate his trivial personal interest of fighting Assembly Election of 2012 that Shri Amitbhai Shah got the trial transferred and and betrayed our trust reposed in him whereby he forced us to suffer more and more in Taloja Central Prison on one hand and face the costliest trial in Mumbai Court, on the other, which none of us is in the position to afford. As if this was not sufficint, Shri Amitbhai Shah, through the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, also managed the merger of Tulasiram encounter case into that of Shohrabuddin encounter case so as to prevent his own arrest into the second case whereby he almost closed the doors of regular bails to the rest of the police officers. Not only that, by converting two cases into one case, he has also aggravated the seriousness of the combined cases elevating the same into a rare category.

Under the circumstances, I and my officers feel ditched and disowned by this government and hence there remains no valid reason for us to continue to trust this government and its ace strategist Shri Amitbhai Shah who convincingly proved himself to be completely self-centric in handling the serious encounter cases with total disregard to the legitimate interests of jailed police officers whereby he has reduced himself to be a mere custodian of political interests of Gujarat government which he is jealously guarding at the cost of those of jailed police officers. And by doing so, he has been playing with our lives without an iota of qualms of conscience.

I have been observing right from the year 2002 that Shri Amitbhai Shah as a MOS, Home, had been completely mismanaging a sensitive Department like Police which would have been handled more carefully in the context of Godhra train burning, post-Godhra riots and resultant rise of Jehadi Terrorism in Gujarat. I am sorry to state that instead of providing an innovative and benevolent leadership for keeping the police force of the state intact, efficient and fighting machine, Shri Amitbhai Shah introduced a much despised British policy of divide and rule coupled with equally dirty policy of use the officers and throw them by deliberately spreading disinformations about them, whereby he succeeded in creating the "crisis of confidence" among senior officers on one hand and the government on the other. That, in turn, destroyed the command and control mechanism of Gujarat Police which is considered to be a "soul" of any uniformed organization anywhere in the world.

A situation so drifted that none in the department trusted the other, every one perceived the other to be a potential spy or rival who, as if were daggers drawn at each other and were out to harm or finish each other. Under the circumstances of such a suspicion lurking from all the directions, MOS, Home, lost all credibility and confidence vis-a-vis police officers and vice versa, which ignited the "yadavasthali of fratricidal police war" in Gujarat which was later on exploited by CBI opening the floodgates of politico-legal problems for this government on one hand and involving "patriotic police officers" in number of encounter cases on the other. The result was and is for everybody to see. A very big number of police officers are languishing in the different jails today. So much so that MOS, Home, himself fell into the grave which he used to dig for others.

I have been maintaining very exemplary patience and perseverance since last six years in the hope that better counsels would prevail someday and the soul of this government would get awakened in our favour. But this government has belied my hope. I realized the truth in the statement of Mahatma Gandhi who very rightly observed, "States are soulless machines.... And the governments have no conscience...." Accordingly, this government instead of construing my "dignified silence" to be a "virtue" worth rewarding has mistaken the same to be my "weakness" worth ignoring. It is most painful to state here that this government took me and my officers for granted all these years in the most arrogant manner.

During the course of my last six years' silence, I exhausted all the means and methods to secure justice for me and my officers from this government which hurled on us nothing but heaps of disappointments and frustrations. Hence the only way open for me and my officers is to adopt the path of Dharma as defined by Shri Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Divine Lord of Sikhs, who ordained to his disciples, "when all the ways and doors for getting justice are exhausted and closed, it is just (Dharma) to draw the sword". Accordingly, I have a moral justification to expose real culprits behind encounter cases by calling them Spade a Spade.

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 to 2007, simply acted and performed their duties in compliance of the conscious policy of this government in the context of following circumstances:

A monstrous episode of Godhra train burning and equally horrible post-Godhra riots in Gujarat provided a pretext to Pakistan based terrorist outfits like Let, JeM and D gang under the direct supervision of ISI, to "convert Gujarat into another Kashmir" by exploiting the sentiments of the muslims all over the world. It was in this context that series of acts of terrorism like foiled attack on Rathyatra; bomb blasts at Godhra, Derol, Mehlol and Lunawada; bomb blasts in six AMTS buses of Ahmedabad City; Memco scooter blast; Nehrunagar cycle blasts; firing on Shri Niraj Jain at Vadodara and on Shri Laliwala at Surat; firing on Shri Jaideep Patel at Ahmedabad; firing on Shri Jagdish Tiwari and killing of Shri Haren Pandya; fidayeen attack on Akshardham Temple at Gandhinagar etc., took place in quick succession which seized common people of Gujarat with fear and apprehensions.

Jehadi Terrorism, thus, began to spread like a forest fire in all directions of the state with all its dreaded ramifications. Everywhere the police was clueless and that phase was almost a beginning of the anarchy in the state. 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 pro-active policy of zero tolerance for terrorism" was adopted by the government of Gujarat at the highest level of its hierarchy. The said policy of government was most efficiently implemented by the Gujarat Police in general and by Crime Branch and ATS in particular as a part of their duty whereby all terror related crimes were detected, several national and international terror networks were bursted which included the number of encounter cases also. It was the Epic struggle launched by the officers/men of Crime Branch and ATS who tirelessly continued to wage war against those who had been waging war against India by working day in and day out, for years together at the cost of their health, security and family well being only and only in the greater interest of state, society and country.

I can say with pride that my officers and men could not only successfully prevent Gujarat from becoming another Kashmir, but they were also instrumental in providing a solid atmosphere of durable peace and security in the state which, in turn as a natural corollary, elevated the image of this government on one hand and cleared the path of development on the other. I state with all my humility that, but for the sacrifices made by me and my officers in thwarting the onslaught of initial disorder in the state, the "Gujarat Model of Development" which this government is so assiduously showcasing at the national level would not have become possible.

When Gujarat was burning under the inferno of Jehadi Terrorism, I used to get daily dozens of phone calls from the Biggies of Gandhinagar who probably saw a savior 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 the 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 world.

Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases holding us to be responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters, if that is true, then the CBI Investigating officers of all the four encounter cases of Shohrabuddin, Tulasiram, Sadique Jamal and Isharat 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 the very close quarters. By this reasoning, I am of the firm opinion that the place of this government, instead of being in Gandhinagar, should either be in Taloja Central Prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad.

It is very rightly stated, "Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha" means, he who protects Dharma is protected by it, similarly, it can be stated in the context of encounter cases, "Prahari Rakshati Rakshitaha" means, he who protects police is protected by it. Mutual protection and reciprocal assistance is the unwritten law between police and 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 almost have 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. None should try to outsmart the other and try to swim at the cost of 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 unnatural death by drowning. By adopting such a suicidal path, this government, I am sure, is doing nothing else but is hastening and facilitating its own 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 till the coronation of this government in Gandhinagar. Today the same proud police of Gujarat stands totally shattered and demoralized in the context of what happened to it in the light of continuous betrayal of jailed police officers since last six years.

What is more important to be noted here is that the virus of demoralization injected by this government into the body of Gujarat police, has not remained confined within the boundaries of Gujarat only. Deliberate demoralization of Gujarat Police by this government, by cascading effect, has reached every nook and corner and India, demoralizing the ranks and file of Indian police as a whole. This government, thus, by betraying jailed police officers of Gujarat, has not only been doing disservice to the state of Gujarat, but it has also been doing disservice to the nation as a whole.

Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat has very rightly been talking of repaying his debt which he owes to Mother India. It, indeed, is the sacred duty of every citizen to do it. 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 which he owes to jailed police officers who endowed him with the halo of Brave Chief Minister among the galaxy of other Chief Ministers who do not bear the same adjective before their names. This, as per my humble opinion, is also a part of the repayment of debt to Mother India.

Let me also further put on record and clarify my stand that I have been maintaining my graceful silence for such a long period only and only because of my supreme faith in and highest respect for Shri Narendrabhai Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, whom I used to adore like a God. But, I am sorry to state that my God could not rise to the occasion under the evil influence of Shri Amitbhai Shah who usurped his eyes and ears and has been successfully misguiding him by converting goats into dogs and dogs into goats since last 12 years. His unholy grip over the state administration is so complete that he is almost running the government of Gujarat by proxy. The resultant criminal negligence negligence of this government on one hand and wilful acts of omissions and commissions by Shri Amitbhai Shah towards the fate of 32 jailed officers on the other are so nauseating that it may take this government to the crematorial ground sooner or later.

Under the circumstances narrated above, this government, much against my will, has compelled me to adopt my own course of action to exclusively serve the interest of my officers independently of those of political leaders of Gujarat state. In pursuant of this course, I have to state in 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 I have a reason to continue to be in the service of this government even for a single day.

I, therefore, out of the call of my conscience, do hereby tender this resignation from my service with renunciation of all the post retirement benefits which may kindly be granted with effect from date and time of receipt of this letter and oblige. And accordingly, I will consider myself to be relieved from my serivice with effect from the said date with or without formal order from your side which may kindly be noted.

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

And with this note, I say goodbye to the Gujarat Police, of which, a proud member I had been since last 33 years.

Thanking you.
Yours sincerely,

(D. G. Vanzara)
Dy. Inspector General of Police
Under suspension

Forwaded w/c through:

Superintendent, Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad

Copy forwarded w/c to:

1. DG and IG of police, Gujarat State, Police Bhavan, Gandhinagar, with request to kindly not prepare my Subsistence Allowance and other bills from the month of September 2013 onward and oblige.

2. Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, Plot No. 5-B, 6th Floor, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003, for kind information and necessary action.

(D.G. Vanzara)

Advanced copy forwarded w/c to :

1. Addl. Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat, Home Department, Sachivalay, Gandhinagar by hand

2. Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, Plot No. 5-B, 6th Floor, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003 by RPAD