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Sohrabuddin encounter case: Vanzara walks free

DG Vanzara released

Ahmedabad: Controversial Gujarat police officer D G Vanzara, an accused in Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin encounter cases, today walked out of Sabarmati Central Jail here after spending seven and half years in prison and was accorded a hero’s welcome with well-wishers garlanding him and bursting crackers.

After coming out of jail, a relieved Vanzara said, “Surely, Acche Din (Good days) have returned for me and other Gujarat Police officers” and attributed “extra legal political reasons” behind his stay in the jail.

He also claimed that cases against Gujarat Police officers were fake and not encounters.

When the ex-IPS officer stepped out today, he was received by hundreds of members of his community, his family members and All India anti-terrorist front crusader Maninderjeet Singh Bitta.

When Bitta along with Vanzara’s brother escorted the retired cop out of jail, his supporters burst crackers. He was garlanded by many people as he climbed up an SUV and addressed the gathering of mostly his community members in the jail compound.

Vanzara said he does not regret what he has done. He also claimed that police officers actually stopped Gujarat from turning into another Kashmir by conducting encounters of suspected terrorists.

“We would have regretted our action only if we had done anything wrong. But we have not done anything wrong. We are bound by the law and did everything in the interest of nation. We have actually stopped Gujarat from becoming Kashmir. If we have not carried out encounters, then Gujarat would not be a safer place,” claimed Vanzara.

The former DIG claimed that encounters conducted by him as well as other police officers of Gujarat were genuine but claimed that cases against them were ‘fake’.

Vanzara is an accused in the fake encounter cases of Ishrat Jahan (2004) and Soharabuddin Sheikh (2005).

“The encounters were not fake. The cases filed against officers and subsequent investigation made into the cases were certainly fake. Our actions were genuine. Since the cases are sub-judice, I don’t want to comment more…but my legal stand is that till charges are not proved, accused is innocent,”he said.

Vanzara was arrested on April 24, 2007 by CID crime in connection with the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, and since then he was behind the bars. He retired in jail in June last year.

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