In what may spell fresh trouble for Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Amit Shah, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday questioned jailed suspended Indian Police Service officer D G Vanzara who accused the former Gujarat minister of ditching police officers who followed the state government's "conscious policy".
Vanzara, who is lodged in Sabarmati jail after CBI named him as main accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, was quizzed about the contents of his resignation letter in which he has also faulted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Vanzara, 59, an officer of the rank of the deputy inspector general of police sent his resignation letter on September 1. In his letter, he expressed bitterness over the way the Modi government had failed to stand by him and other officers who implemented the government's "conscious policy" of "eliminating terrorism".
A 1987-batch IPS officer, he had said, "This government, through the dirty tactics of 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."
The CBI questioned him about the "tactics", as alleged by him in his resignation letter, used by Shah when he was the minister of state for home, agency sources said. Shah, a close aide of Modi, was arrested on July 25, 2010 in connection with the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin case and released on bail on October 29 the same year. The IPS officer was then considered to be close to Modi.
In particular, his letter accuses Shah of betraying him and 32 other officers who are now in jail in connection with various encounter cases from Gujarat that the CBI is probing.
Vanzara says in the letter that he once adored Modi as a `God', who could not rise to the occasion under the "evil" influence of Shah. Shah is Vanzara's co-accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases.
The suspended officer was also questioned in detail about issues related to the controversial encounter and on the letter to seek any fresh leads in the case, the sources said. Vanzara has been in Sabarmati jail since 2007 after his arrest in connection with alleged fake encounter killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his associate Tulsiram Prajapati.
After all these encounters the police had said those killed were terrorists on a mission to assassinate Modi. He was also questioned about Sadiq Jamal’s alleged fake encounter case. Jamal, a resident of Bhavnagar city, was shot
dead by a team of Gujarat crime branch in an encounter near Galaxy Cinema on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on January 13, 2003.
On a petition filed by Jamal's brother Shabir, the Gujarat high court, had in 2011, directed the CBI to take over the probe after filing a fresh FIR in the case. Shabir has alleged that Sadiq was killed as part of a political conspiracy.
An intelligence report, dated January 6, 2003, of the subsidiary intelligence bureau, Mumbai is also under the scanner of the agency. In the report, it was alleged that Sadiq was a member of Dawood Ibrahim gang and had arrived to kill saffron party leaders to avenge 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.
In this case, the CBI has arrested, apart from ex-Mumbai scribe Ketan Tirodkar, eight Gujarat policemen, including Tarun Barot and J G Parmar who were also arraigned as accused in the Ishrat case.