Supercops under a scanner

Sohrabuddin Sheikh and wife Kausar Bi.While a dozen policemen, including three IPS officers, are in jail for their involvement in Sohrabuddin case, many more could end up in jail after the SIT has established that even the Ishrat encounter was fake.

D G VANZARA, IPS batch1987

There are interesting tales about Vanzara in his ancestral village of Illol, about 100 km from Ahmedabad - on how he emerged as a rare law graduate from his scheduled tribe community and did not have even a slate to work on in his school days. A direct DySP recruit, he was later promoted to the IPS cadre and allotted the 1987 batch.

The epithets used most often for Vanzara till the time he was arrested in 2007 were ‘supercop’ and ‘encounter specialist’. Known to be close to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Vanzara’s career graph went up in early 2000. He managed to get some prized postings at the Ahmedabad crime branch and Anti Terrorist Squad and as head of the border range post 2002. Vanzara was the head of Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad at the time of Sohrabuddin encounter. From 2002 on, Vanzara had had many "encounters" to his credit.

Each time he described the people killed as terrorists out to kill Modi.

 In Dec 2006, Tulsi Prajapati, said to be an accomplice of Sohrabuddin and a police informer, was killed in an encounter in Gujarat's Banaskantha district. Days before Prajapati was killed, Vanzara was transferred to the Border Range Police, which has jurisdiction over Banaskantha district. Vanzara was thus Deputy Inspector General of Gujarat Police, Border Range, when he was arrested in April 2007. He is reportd to have applied for studying human rights in jail. Perhaps ironical for a man who is now under fire for his human right abuse.

Dr N K AMIN, 1987 batch

A direct DySP, he was a medical practitioner before joining the police force.  A close associate of Vanzara, he was the Assistant Commisioner of Police in the Crime Branch and the SIT has also pointed fingers at him for his role in Ishrat encounter. He is already behind bars for his role in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter.

Dinesh M N, 1995 batch (Rajasthan cadre)

This 40-year-old officer from Rajasthan was arrested along with Vanzara for having colluded with the Gujarat ATS in getting Sohrabuddin Sheikh killed in a fake encounter. He was a critical part of the en­co­u­­nter team which planned and executed the encounter, according to the CBI chargesheet.

Abhay Chudasama, 1999 batch

This science graduate from the Saurashtra region of the state is known to have enormous hold over the informant network of the underworld.  Was instrumental in cracking the Ahmedabad blast cases during his stint as the deputy commissioner there. But his career has had fair share of controversies. Involved in some other encounters during his stint as Valsad police chief in south Gujarat, Chudasama was finally arrested in connection with the Sohrabuddin case for alleged alleged cover up on the orders of the then MoS, Home, Amit Shah.

G L SINGHAL, 2001 batch 2001

A graduate from Ahmedabad, Singhal was one of the trusted lieutenants of Vanzara who worked with him in the Ahmedabd crime branch and also ATS. He was directly involved in the Ishrat Jahan case and was also under a cloud in the Sohrabuddin case for trying to cover up the killing, though the CBI did not register a case against him. Now faces arrest as the SIT has found that the encounter was fake.

P P PANDEY, 1980 batch

One of the senior most police officers whose name figures in the complaint filed by Ishrat Jahan’s mother. Pandey was the joint commissioner of crime branch at the time of the Ishrat encounter and was Vanzara’s boss. He is facing allegations that he was in the know of the encounter plan which was executed by Vanzara and his men. He also faces arrest in connection with Ishrat case.

K R Kaushik, IPS (retd)

Was the Ahmedabad police commissioner at the time of the encounter. Reported to have receivedthe Intelligence tip off on Ishrat and three others. SIT had probed his role in the fake encounter.

RAJKUMAR PANDIYAN, 1996 batch

This 42-year-old Ph.D holder from Tamil Nadu was Vanzara’s deputy at the Anti Terrorist Squad when Sohr­abuddin Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter. He was also arrested along with Vanzara in 2007. Known for his close proximity to the then minister of state for home, Amit Shah, Pandiyan had also managed to get some important postings.

He has had brushes with controversy even before the fake encounter. He had taken on his  senior officers when posted in Porbandar as the police chief alleging that they had linkages with an underworld fugitive.

Pandiyan is reported to have gone to Hyderabad along with his team to trail Sohrabuddin and his wife.

Close encounters of fake kind

A grieving father’s hope for justice 

Payoff for a mother’s  7-year penance 

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