April 9, 2016 3:26:11 am
Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara, whose bail conditions in the Ishrat Jahan and the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter cases were modified to allow him to return to Gujarat, arrived here Friday to a rousing welcome by his community members and former colleagues. He returned home after nine years, following eight years in prison, mostly at Sabarmati Jail here, and another year in Mumbai since his bail in February 2015.
Announcing that he will enter public life, Vanzara said: “I am retired, but not tired. My first inning is over, but my second and most important inning starts from today. Till now, I and other officers (accused) were fielding. Now, the bat is in my hand. I will bat and those who conspired against me and other innocent officers will have to field.” He was speaking at a function at Town Hall in Gandhinagar shortly after his arrival at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport.
Vanzara, a key accused in the alleged fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, said: “Delhi knew about the encounters which were based on the inputs provided by the Intelligence Bureau officials… still the anti-nationals of the country falsely created these cases.”
Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) P P Pandey, who is on bail in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, hailed Vanzara as “rajarshi (king who turned sage)” and his homecoming as “Vijaya Dashami”.
Besides former colleagues, community members and his family, BJP, RSS and VHP activists comprised the crowd that gathered outside airport, donning T-shirts with Vanzara’s photograph and saffron caps.
As soon as Vanzara — sporting a red shirt, white trouser and sports shoes — came out of the airport, he was showered with rose petals as the crowd raised Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogan and waved the Tricolour. A retired deputy superintendent of police, Arvind Joshi held a placard with Vanzara’s picture and the slogan: Bharat Mata Ki Jai. After rousing welcome at the airport, the former deputy inspector general was then taken to Town Hall, where he targeted politicians. “Politicians are the real anti-nationals who are responsible for putting me and many other police officers in Gujarat in jails. We can save India from terrorism. We can save our country from China or Pakistan… But it is difficult to save India from anti-national politicians. Due to them, officers like us have spent eight years in jail. These traitor politicians conspired against us for their own political gains,” said Vanzara, former Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad chief, without naming any party or political leader.
Vanzara announced that “from today I am entering into a public life.” He blamed “dirty politics” for his arrest and said that those responsible for his arrest were “traitors”.
When asked by reporters that he was arrested by his own colleagues, Vanzara said that “they were mere pawns in the hands of these dirty politicians.”
About entering politics, Vanzara said, “Joining politics is a matter of future, but at present I will work for the development of people.”Vanzara was lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail following his arrest in 2007. In November 2012, he was transferred to Mumbai’s Taloja jail after the Supreme Court shifted the trial in the Sohrabuddin case. In June 2013, the CBI arrested Vanzara in Ishrat Jahan case and brought him back to Sabarmati jail. In September 2014, he was granted bail in the Sohrabuddin case by the Bombay High Court, and in February last year, he walked out of jail after a CBI Special Court allowed his bail plea in the Ishrat case. Since then, he has been living in Mumbai.
Welcoming Vanzara, Pandey, now a DGP-rank official, at the event recalled: “We were in Sabarmati jail together for nearly one-and-a-half years during which I saw that Dahyaji (Vanzara’s first name) has gone deep into spiritualism and he is as duty bound as (Lord) Krishna and will not run away from the battlefield”. Pandey, who was ADGP-CID (Crime) when he was arrested by the CBI in July 2013 in the Ishrat case, sat on the dais beside Vanzara.
“Today is the first day of Chaitra Navratri, and Ram Navami has turned into Vijay Dashmi,” said Pandey.
Pandey further said: “I am a Brahmin by the body, at best I can become a brahmrshi, but by this heredity I have the authority to confer the title of rajarshi to any Kshatriya or “Karm-nishtha.”
He went on to say in a mix of Gujarati and Hindi, “I, P P Pandey, son of Jagdish Pandey, born under the Vatsa gotra… today, this moment, in the presence of all of you, with the sun and fire bearing witness, I confer the title of rajarshi on shri Vanzara.”
Several co-accused and retired police officers such as K M Vaghela and M L Parmar, also met Vanzara. On the stage Vanzara was flanked by his wife Gauri, brothers KG Vanzara, who is an Officer on Special Duty in the Social Justice Department (Post-retirement), and Vanraj Vanzara, a joint secretary in the government. Earlier, Vanzara’s niece Manjita Vanzara, ACP posted at F division sector in Ahmedabad, was also present at the entrance when Vanzara arrived at the Town Hall from the airport in an expensive car, which was part of a cavalcade of his supporters riding bikes and cars and waving the national flag. A band was beating the drums ceaselessly. He was also greeted by Gandhinagar Mayor Mahendrasinh Rana, BJP corporators from Ahmedabad Bipin Patel, Suman Rajput, VHP member Dilip Trivedi and Kirtibhai of RSS, Gandhinagar.
Three policemen in uniform, a deputy superintendent of police and two police inspectors also met Vanzara, saluted him and shook hands on the stage. Gandhinagar Sahitya Parishad, Rotary Club of Gandhinagar, Gandhinagar GIDC, Lioness Club, Gandhinagar Vaishnav Samaj, Kala Gurjari, Senior Citizen Forum helped organise the function at Town Hall which was anchored by his brother K G Vanzara.
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