The investigations of all the encounter cases of Gujarat starting with the Sohrabuddin case suffers from a typical syndrome, now known as the “Geetha Johri syndrome“. When any investigation reaches the stage of disclosing evidence to implicate the political bosses, the supervisory officer of the investigating officer (I.O.) starts developing either cold feet or simply derails the investigation to save the political bosses.
While investigating the Sohrabuddin case, the then I.O. Shri V L Solanki had sought the permission to visit the Udaipur jail sometime in May 2006, to examine Tulsi Prajapati who had disclosed the location of Sohrabuddin to the accused Gujarat policemen facilitating his abduction and murder of Sohrabuddin. Johri blocked the permission and gave it only after the death of Tulsi! On instruction from MOS Amit Shah, she also asked Solanki to change his report. The investigation effectively stopped at this stage till the Supreme court intervened and asked the CBI to take over the investigation from Geetha Johri. In the supplementary charge-sheets filed by CBI, Amit Shah was shown as an accused in 2010 and in a subsequent charge-sheet, Geetha Johri has also been shown as an accused for derailing the investigation!
In the Javed Ishrat case, the present director of CBI appears to have suffered from a similar Geetha Johri syndrome. Despite overwhelming evidence against IB officer Rajinder Kumar implicating him with the abduction and murder of Javed-Ishrat-Jeeshan-Amjad Ali, he was not shown in the array of accused because of the objection raised by IB Chief and the BJP leaders!
So far as the role of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi in the Javed-Ishrat case is concerned, the then ACP KM Vaghela, a senior officer of the encounter team has made the following statement under section 161 of CrPC which is a relevant and admissible evidence:
Therefore, I had gone inside the chamber of Shri Vanzara and told him to agree to what Shri Singhal wanted but Shri Vanzara refused, saying that everything was decided yesterday with Shri PP Pandey and Shri Rajinder Kumar, the Joint Director SIB Ahmedabad, and that he had already got the green signal from the kali dadhi and safed dadhi about everything, referring to the code names we had for the MoS (Home) Shri Amit Shah and the Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi respectively
In another statement before the Magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC , Shri DH Goswami, the then DySP has stated as under:
I found that Shri Rajinder Kumar, Shri PP Pandey and Shri DG Vanzara were present there. These three seniors were discussing the details of the FIR of some encounter that they were planning and I remember Shri Rajinder Kumar telling Shri Vanzara to speak to the Chief Minister about it and Shri Vanzara saying he would talk to the ‘safed dadhi’ and the ‘kali dadhi’, the well known monikers in the Crime Branch for the Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Minister of State (Home) Shri Amit Shah………….
Shri Singhal had disagreed on reading this draft complain and I vaguely remember it had something to do with the motive in the draft and about the girl Ishrat. But Shri Vanzara was adamant and even said that he had approval of the Chief Minister and the MoS (Home).
In light of the above two statements made by the police officer who had participated in the “encounter” as team members, the statements made by DG Vanzara in his resignation letter have to be evaluated to find whether it discloses a cognizable offence against the Chief Minister and Amit Shah in the various “encounters carried out by Vanzara and is team. We quote herein below the relevant extract from Vanzara’s letter:
I, therefore, would like to categorically state in the most unequivocal words that the officers and men of Crime Branch, ATS and Border Range, during the period of years between 2002 to 2007, simply acted and performed their duties in compliance of the conscious policy of this government…..
Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases holding us to be responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters, if that is true, then the CBI investigating officers of all the four encounter cases of Shohrabuddin, Tulasiram, Sadique Jamal and Isharat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from the very close quarters. By this reasoning, I am of the firm opinion that the place of this government, instead of being in Gandhinagar, should either be in Taloja Central Prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad.
The statements made by Vanzara are addressed to the Chief Secretary who is a competent authority to process his resignation and the contents are the voluntary reasons/factual averments in support of the resignation letter required to be filed by an IPS officer under the rules. The contents are therefore admissible evidence and also would amount to admission under section 17 of the Evidence Act. Further, if the statements of KM Vaghela, DH Goswami and DG Vanzara are read together, they would disclose the fact that Vanzara had indeed taken sanction of Modi and Shah for the abduction and killing of Javed-Ishrat and two others. There are several Call Data Records to connect Vanazara, Amit Shah and even Modi during the crucial period between 1st June, 2004 and 15th June, 2004, the day of encounter.
|Serial No.||Caller 1||Caller 2||Date-Time||Remarks|
|1||Vanzara||Amit Shah (R)||1/6/04 23:22||The day Rajinder Kumar generated the fake intelligence input|
|2||Vanzara||Amit Shah (R)||8/6/04 23:54||About 36 hours before Amin/Barot start camping to intercept Javed-Ishrat|
|3||Vanzara||Amit Shah||14/6/04 22:57||Night before the encounter|
|4||Vanzara||Amit Shah||15/6/04 6:10||40 minutes after the encounter! Amit Shah himself calls Vanzara|
|5||Vanzara||Amit Shah||15/6/04 7:09||1:40 hours after the encounter|
Mr Ranjit Sinha must therefore explain as to why he is bringing the cart before the horse. In the present stage, the focus is to investigate the cognizable offence aganst Shah and Modi and not hold a trial. The task of conducting the trial is conferred by law on the Investigating officer who should take an independent decision. Why is the CBI director preempting the Investigating Officer not to investigate. Once he knows that a cognizable offence is disclosed, he must without delay direct his IO to investigate and file a report.