The Gujarat government has reinstated an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, who is an accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and given him a plum posting as Superintendent, DGP Vigilance Squad, according to a Gujarat state home department notification issued on Thursday midnight.
Abhay Chudasama who spent four years in prison, is the first Sohrabuddin Sheikh case accused IPS official to be reinstated by the Gujarat state government. Earlier, the Gujarat state government had reinstated IPS officer GL Singhal who is an accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
As per a notification issued by the state home department yesterday midnight, Chudasama, who was granted bail on April 28, 2014, has been reinstated as Superintendent of Police (SP) of Vigilance Squad in the DGP's office, Gandhinagar.
Presently called the State Monitoring Cell, the squad works directly under the Gujarat state Director General of Police (DGP). However, popularly, the cell is still referred to as "DG Vigilance Squad".
The post of a Superintendent of Police in the Monitoring Cell is considered as a powerful position, since the cell has powers to conduct raids anywhere in Gujarat state to curb crimes.
Chudasama, who is a 1999 batch officer, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 2010 for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. Allegedly, Sheikh and his wife Kausarbi were abducted and killed in 2005, near Gandhinagar in a fake encounter.
After spending four years in jail, Chudasama was granted bail on April 28 by the Bombay High Court.
The case related to the fake encounter of Sheikh and the murder of his wife Kausar Bi was transferred to Mumbai by the Supreme Court.
Other IPS officers accused in the case include D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, who are both from the Gujarat cadre and Dinesh MN of the Rajasthan cadre, the Gujarat state home department notification said.
Earlier, on May 28, the Gujarat state government had reinstated Singhal, who is one of the accused in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Besides Chudasama, the Home Department transferred seven other senior IPS officers in the Gujarat state, including Vadodara Commissioner of Police (CP) Satish Sharma, who is now posted as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Security with the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL).
Sharma has been replaced by E Radhakrishnan, who was currently posted as the IGP of the Junagadh Range, the notification said.
Brajesh Kumar Jha, serving as the Deputy IG of Procurement and Modernization (P&M) at Gandhinagar, has now been shifted as the DIG of Junagadh Range, in place of Radhakrishnan, the notification said.
Jha has been replaced by Pravin Sinha, who is currently serving as the IGP of the Rajkot Range. Vadodara's Additional CP (Traffic and Crime) of D R Patel has been transferred as the IG of Rajkot Range.
Patel has been replaced by DJ Patel, who is now serving as the Executive Director of Vigilance with the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) in Ahmedabad.
RJ Savani, who is currently the DIG of Security with GUVNL, has been posted as the Additional CP (Administration) with the Ahmedabad city police, the notification said. Apart from these senior IPS officers, the Gujarat government has transferred five probationary IPS officers of 2011 and 2012 batches as well as 14 Deputy SP (DySP) officers in the state, the Gujarat state home department notification said.