“I say goodbye to the Gujarat Police, of which, a proud member I had been since last 33 years. Thanking you.” Thus ends the 10-paged resignation letter by DG Vanzara, once fondly dubbed a ‘Supercop’ and an ‘Encounter specialist’ of Gujarat. The missive is a ventilation of Vanzara’s anger and frustration over the state government, which he alleges, had never come forward to help him or other IPS officers lodged in jails.
As Bacon had put it so aptly, “Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid,” matters changed for the ‘invincible’ cop too; and the very ‘fame’ led him behind bars in March 2007.
Trigger-happy cop Vanzara was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case and was serving prison term as an under trial prisoner No 4826 of Sabarmati central prison for the last six years.
In the first three pages of the letter, Vanzara recounts all the major events and arrests made in the fake encounter cases, and also presents himself as the leader of these police officers. On several occasions, Vanzara seems to be echoing the pain and sentiments of other imprisoned IPS officers including Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN, instead of just talking about his own trouble. ‘I being the senior-most officer and being one of them in jail, have been making ceaseless efforts on behalf of all of them…’ the letter reads.
Blaming the government for its apathy towards them (cops in jail), Vanzara also hints at a larger conspiracy against him and others, who, according to him, were loyal soldiers of the government ‘who fought incessant war against Pakistan inspired terrorism with complete honesty…’ Vanzara goes on to lambast the government for not reciprocating to their efforts.
Apart from being in lodged in the Sabarmati jail for such a long period of time, the suspended IPS officer also expressed his unhappiness over the transfer to Taloda jail in Navi Mumbai from Ahmedabad. “…the cruel act of transferring the case out of the state has increased the agony of jailed police officers, which multiplied the hardships of their family members…’ he stated.
After an acrimonious first few pages, an emboldened Vanzara then directly attacks the government in general and former home minster Amit Shah in particular.
He mentions in his letter how the Modi government turned its back on its ‘loyal soldiers’, and ‘…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’.
Vanzara’s letter also states that he learnt about the ‘game’ being played with them much later. ‘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 the efforts to keep me and my officers in the jail so as to save its own skin from CBI…’ he alleges.
Vanzara claimed that the government ‘has been reaping very rich political dividends, since last 12 years, by keeping the glow of encounter alive in the sky of Gujarat’. He further claims that the same government, however, remains indifferent when it comes to saving the officers involved in these encounters.