Ishrat Jahan encounter accused DG Vanzara returns home after 9 years; announces entry into public life - Firstpost
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Ishrat Jahan encounter accused DG Vanzara returns home after 9 years; announces entry into public life

Gandhinagar: Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara, who is out on bail in Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, returned home on Friday after nine years. He announced that he will now enter public life.

Vanzara, a key accused in the alleged fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan, Soharabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati, was given a grand welcome by his family members and well-wishers in Gandhinagar.

The CBI court had last week relaxed bail conditions by allowing him to enter and stay in Gujarat.

At a welcome function held at the Town Hall in Gandhinagar, Vanzara said it was the beginning of his public life and he would fight for the rights of the people.

A file photo of DG Vanzara. AFP

A file photo of DG Vanzara. AFP

Using the analogy of cricket, Vanzara said, "I am retired, but not tired. My first inning is over, but my second and most important inning starts now. Till now, I was 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. I will make them run hard."

"As an officer in the past, I used to be with needy people to understand and solve their problems rather than sit in air-conditioned cabin. Once again, I will stand with such people and try to solve their problems. I hereby announce that I have entered in public life from today," he said.

After remaining in jail for eight years, Vanzara walked out of Sabarmati prison in February 2015 after he was granted bail in the Ishrat Jahan case on condition that he will not enter Gujarat. Since then, he was living in Mumbai.

The former officer, who retired in 2014 while in jail, also claimed that there was an urgent need to change the prevailing situation in Gujarat as well as in India. He also called for a mass movement to uproot corruption and inflation.

"I am not happy with the prevalent situation in India and Gujarat. There is an urgent need to change it. If the government does not support people, then it is not possible to bring development. There is a need to start a people's movement to bring development," he said, addressing a gathering of around 3,000 people.

Accusing politicians of being 'real anti-nationals', Vanzara held them responsible for putting him and many other police officers in Gujarat in jails in fake encounter cases.

"We can save India from terrorism. We can also save our country from the attacks of China or Pakistan. But, it is difficult to save India from anti-national politicians. Due to them, officers like us have spend eight years in jail. These traitor politicians conspired against us for their own political gains," he added.

Vanzara was arrested on 24 April, 2007 by CID crime in connection with the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

In September 2014, the Mumbai court had given bail to Vanzara in the Soharabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases, a year before he was granted bail in Ishrat case.

When asked by reporters, Vanzara, however, refused to divulge whether he would join active politics.

"You will find out in due course as to how I will start my public life. My objective is to unite people for a mass movement to bring development. I hereby announce attaching myself with this movement," Vanzara told reporters before heading to his palatial bungalow in the state capital.

Senior IPS officer and co-accused in the Ishrat Jahan case P P Pandey, who is currently posted as the Director of Gujarat State Anti Corruption Bureau also attended the event.

Pandey and Vanzara had spent around 18 months together in Sabarmati jail before they were released on bail.

"I know Vanzara and his family from the day I landed in Gujarat in 1982 as an IPS officer. We spent one and half years in jail. According to me, he is a person of strong will, who never runs away from fighting the odds. At the same time, he is also very spiritual," Pandey said.

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