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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.

Gujarat Police gave him the “choice” of being implicated in the Godhra train burning, Haren Pandya murder and Akshardham terror, one of the men acquitted by the Supreme Court in the temple attack case alleged on Tuesday.

Mohammed Saleem was eventually sentenced to life under POTA for involvement in the Akshardham case.
On May 16, the day Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi won his historic mandate, the Supreme Court set Saleem and five others free, pulling up the Gujarat Police for framing innocent people, and blaming the then home minister — Modi — for “non-application of mind”. Four of the six men had already spent over 10 years in jail.

“I had been working in Saudi Arabia for 13 years, when they picked me up alleging there was a problem with my passport. They beat me brutally — I still have scars on my back, and I suffered a fracture in my foot. They asked me which case I wanted to be charged under — Akshardham, Haren Pandya or Godhra. I did not know what to say,” Saleem told a press conference addressed by five of the six men in Delhi.
Saleem’s daughter was born four months after his arrest. He picked her up in his arms for the first time only after his release — the child is 10 years old now.

The world of Abdul Qaiyum Muftisaab Mohammed Bhai alias Mufti Abdul Qaiyum has changed completely in the 11 years that he spent in jail. His father is dead, and his family no longer lives in their old home. His acquittal by the Supreme Court, Qaiyum said, was “mere release from prison; justice had been buried at every moment in these 11 years”.

Qaiyum said the main charge against him was that two letters recovered from the two fidayeen killed in the terror attack had been written by him. He was framed, Qaiyum alleged.

“For three days and nights, they made me copy a letter that they had given me. They (the police) would bring an expert each day to check whether I had copied it well. They would ask me to copy the turns and twists of the Urdu letters so that they looked exactly the same as in the letter. I was very afraid, and did what they told me to do,” he said. “Then they claimed in court that I had written the letters.”
Qaiyum said that in jail, he met the police officers who had framed him, and asked them why they had done so. “I met G L Singhal. Though they (police officers) were kept separately, we sometimes bumped into each other. I told him (Singhal): ‘Please tell me why did you do this to me.’ His young son had committed suicide, and that had made him feel what grief was. He had no answer.”

Arshad Madani, president of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind which organised the press conference, said, “I am willing to talk things over with anybody to ensure such things do not happen, but I feahim (Singhal): ‘Please tell me why did you do this to me.’ His young son had committed suicide, and that had made him feel what grief was. He had no answer.”

Arshad Madani, president of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind which organised the press conference, said, “I am willing to talk things over with anybody to ensure such things do not happen, but I fear that there is a real chance that this will actually happen more often.”

He said the Jamiat would approach the Supreme Court to seek punishment for the officers who had framed the men. “Supreme Court and judiciary is our last hope. The government and the media have been biased, and an atmosphere has been created in which every Muslim is seen as a terrorist,” Madani said.r that there is a real chance that this will actually happen more often.”

He said the Jamiat would approach the Supreme Court to seek punishment for the officers who had framed the men. “Supreme Court and judiciary is our last hope. The government and the media have been biased, and an atmosphere has been created in which every Muslim is seen as a terrorist,” Madani said.

This article originally appears in the Indian Express. Reproducing it here because I don't trust our government enough that articles like this may not go missing in the future.

1

An article by Shehzad Poonawala debunked several cover up propaganda myths spread by BJP about the 2002 Gujarat Riots and got taken down. Here is the article.

This article by Shehzad Poonawalla was originally published on DNA as "Mamata Banerjee calls Narendra Modi 'butcher of Gujarat'; here are 9 mythbusters on 2002 post-Godhra riots". It got taken down. Naturally, it finds a home here.

For those who have developed “selective and motivated” amnesia about the truths of 2002 riots in Gujarat and are suddenly buying into the myths being perpetrated by Narendra Modi's PR machinery, here are a few myth-busters to refresh your memory and perhaps your conscience

Narendra Modi surrounded by security and fans

Myth no 1: Post-Godhra violence was brought under control within 2-3 days by Narendra Modi’s government

Truth: “The violence in the state, which was initially claimed to have been brought under control in seventy two hours, persisted in varying degree for over two months, the toll in death and destruction rising with the passage of time.”

Source: Final Order of the National human Rights Commission chaired by the very respected Justice JS Verma, available here

Myth no 2: Gujarat Police acted fairly by taking action against rioters from every side

Truth: “We women thought of going to police and telling the police as in the presence of police, the houses of Muslims were burnt, but the police told us 'to go inside, it is doom's day for Muslims”

Source: PW219 testimony which was admitted as part of Naroda Patya judgment that led to conviction of Mayaben Kodnani, Narendra Modi’s cabinet minister who led murderous mobs during 2002 riots. It is available here.

Myth no 3: No conspiracy by the Gujarat government; post-Godhra violence was a spontaneous reaction

Truth: “A key state minister is reported to have taken over a police control room in Ahmedabad on the first day of the carnage, issuing directions not to rescue Muslims in danger of being killed.”

“Voter lists were also reportedly used to identify and target Muslim community members”

Source: Report of Human Rights Watch, April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 3(C). Available here

Myth no 4: Modi allowed a fair prosecution of those accused in rioting and hence even his cabinet colleague Mayaben Kodnani was convicted

Truth: “The modern day 'Neros' were looking elsewhere when Best Bakery and innocent children and helpless women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the crime can be saved or protected.”

“Law and justice become flies in the hands of these “wanton boys”. When fences start to swallow the crops, no scope will be left for survival of law and order or truth and justice. Public order as well as public interest become martyrs and monuments.”

“From the facts stated above, it appears that accused wants to frustrate the prosecution by unjustified means and it appears that by one way or the other the Addl. Sessions Judge as well as the APP (Shri Raghuvir Pandya, the public prosecutor in this case at the time was a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and contested elections from Ward 20, Vadodara in the 1996 Corporation Elections on a BJP ticket!) have not taken any interest in discharge of their duties.”

Source: Supreme Court in Zahira Habibulla H Sheikh And Anr vs State Of Gujarat And Ors on 12 April, 2004 CASE NO.: Appeal (crl.) 446-449 of 2004. Available here

Myth no 5: Narendra Modi never justified post-Godhra killings

Truth: “Responding to queries regarding various statements attributed to him by the media, Mr Modi denied citing Newton’s law. Nor had he spoken of “action-reaction”; he had wanted neither the action (at Godhra) nor the subsequent reaction. When we cited footage in Zee to the contrary (Annexure 4A), there was no reaction from Mr Modi”

Source: Editors Guild Fact Finding Mission Report dated 2002. Available here

Myth no 6: Narendra Modi speaks only about development in his speeches. Even after 2002 riots, his speeches were never laced with communal poison

Truth: Narendra Modi’s reported speech: “For several months, the opposition has been after me to resign. When I did, they did not know what to do and started running to Delhi to seek Madam's help. They realised that James Michael Lyngdoh, the Election Commissioner of India, is their only saviour.Some journalists asked me recently, ''Has James Michael Lyngdoh come from Italy?'' I said I don't have his janam patri, I will have to ask Rajiv Gandhi. Then the journalists said, ''Do they meet in church?''. I replied, ''Maybe they do.'' James Michael Lyngdoh came and visited Ahmedabad and Vadodara. And then he used asabhya basha (indecent language) with the officials. Gujaratis can never use such language because our rich cultural heritage does not permit it. Then he gave a fatwa ordering that the elections can't be held. I want to ask him: he has come to this conclusion after meeting only members of the minority community. Are only minority community members citizens of India? Are majority community members not citizens of this country? Is the constitutional body meant only for the minority community? Did he ever bother to meet the relatives of those killed in the Godhra carnage? Why didn't he meet them? Why didn't he ask them whether the situation was conducive for polls? Why? James Michael Lyngdoh ( says it slowly with emphasis on Michael), the people of Gujarat are posing a question to you.”

Source: Reported speech of Narendra Modi, September 30, 2002. Available here

Myth no 7: Narendra Modi never applied for a US Visa (when it came to light that he was denied one)

Truth: “The Chief Minister of Gujarat state, Mr. Narendra Modi, applied for a diplomatic visa to visit the United States. On March 18, 2005, the United States Department of State denied Mr. Modi this visa under section 214 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act because he was not coming for a purpose that qualified for a diplomatic visa. Modi's existing tourist/business visa was also revoked under section 212 (a) (2) (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 212 (a) (2) (g) makes any foreign government official who "was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom" ineligible for a visa to the United States. The Ministry of External Affairs requested that the Department of State review the decision to revoke his tourist/business visa. Upon review, the State Department re-affirmed the original decision.” This decision applies to Narendra Modi only. It is based on the fact that, as head of the State government in Gujarat between February 2002 and May 2002, he was responsible for the performance of state institutions at that time. The State Department's detailed views on this matter are included in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious Freedom Report. Both reports document the violence in Gujarat from February 2002 to May 2002 and cite the Indian National Human Rights Commission report, which states there was "a comprehensive failure on the part of the state government to control the persistent violation of rights of life, liberty, equality, and dignity of the people of the state."

Source: Statement by David C. Mulford, US Ambassador to India, March 21, 2005. Available here

Myth no 8: Vajpayee never asked Modi to observe “Rajdharma”, did not rap him for 2002 riots

Truth: “In comments which appeared to back criticism of the state authorities, Mr Vajpayee said he would speak to political leaders about allegations that they had failed to do their job. "Government officials, political leaders, need to respond to the task. The constitution guarantees equal rights for all," he said.The state government is controlled by the BJP, and the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, has come in for particular attack over the way the authorities reacted to the violence. At the Shah Alam camp in Gujarat's commercial capital, Ahmedabad, Mr Vajpayee said that the Godhra attack was "condemnable" but what followed was "madness". "The answer to madness is not madness," he said in an emotional speech."The duty of our government is to protect the property, life and honour of everybody... there is no scope for discrimination," he said in an apparent reference to allegations that local officials had turned a blind eye to the killings.”

Source: Vajpayee says riots “shameful” – BBC News report April 4th 2002. Available here

Myth no 9: It's not sheer opportunism that well-known Modi-baiters like Smriti Irani, have today become his cheerleaders

Truth: "Smriti Irani who unsuccessfully contested from Delhi's Muslim-dominated Chandni Chowk constituency in the April-May parliamentary elections, blamed Modi for BJP's recent electoral reverses. "Whenever people mention Gujarat they only talk about the riots and try to corner the Gujaratis on the issue. So, in order to maintain the respect that I have for Atalji and the BJP, I won't hesitate to take this step( of going on a fast to seek Modi's removal) ," she said."

Source: Times of India report dated December 12, 2004. Available here

These myth-busters took me just one hour to compile. So it's quite surprising that none of the stalwarts who interviewed Modi, (some of whom saw the events of 2002 unfold in front of their very own eyes), never counter-questioned him further and exposed the glaring gaps in his "rebuffed" narrative. Much like Smriti Irani, I guess, each night they must be saying to themselves "Hey Ram"....

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.

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