‘Encounter cop’ Vanzara returns home to hero’s welcome

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Gandhinagar, April 8 (IANS) Former Gujarat IPS officer D.G. Vanzara, who spent eight years in jail, returned home on Friday to a hero’s welcome, saying politicians had framed him in “encounter” cases.

Driving home in a black Mercedes limousine, Vanzara, who got bail last year in the killing of Ishrat Jahan, told a huge gathering that all the “encounter cases” in which he and other police officers were jailed were genuine and done on information provided by the Intelligence Bureau.

Speaking at the Town Hall, Vanzara asserted that everyone at the helm right from Delhi to Gujarat was aware of the encounters but he and several officers were framed in false cases by politicians with vested interests. He did not name any politician.

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After his first arrest in 2007, Vanzara spent nearly eight years in jail, having been charged in two “encounter cases”.

He got bail in February on the condition that he would not enter Gujarat. He was in Mumbai since then. A special CBI Court on April 2 finally permitted him to enter Gujarat.

He got a rousing welcome from his family and supporters at the Ahmedabad airport and later at the Town Hall in Gandhinagar, where he was driven in a Mercedes car gifted by his son.

Several policemen on duty at the airport and Town Hall saluted him.

Holding a silver sword presented by his family, Vanzara danced to the beat of drums. His brother K.G. Vanzara, a Class I government official in Gandhinagar, broke into a song.

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Senior IPS officer P.P. Pandey, who shared the dias with Vanzara, described the bearded retired cop as a Brahma Rishi.

Pandey, an additional director general of police, is an accused along with Vanzara in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case but was reinstated by the Gujarat government after being released on bail.

Referring to the allegedly fake encounter cases, Vanzara said if he had not gunned down the “terrorists” they would have converted Gujarat into another Kashmir.

He justified the killing of Ishrat Jahan and others and claimed that all top officials in Delhi and Gandhinagar, including the Intelligence Bureau, knew about the operation.

In his 45-minute address, Vanzara said the country faced more serious threat from “anti-national politicians” than from Pakistan and China. He said he need not say anything about these “anti-national politicians” as the media has sufficiently exposed them in the last three months.

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He urged people to lend support to the “development agenda’ of the Narendra Modi and Gujarat governments.

He interspersed his speech with quotations from Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha and several religious scriptures, including the Quran.

Announcing that he would enter public life, Vanzara declared his resolve to devote the rest of his life to “serving” the nation.

“My first inning is just over but the second innings starts today,” he said.

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