Law unto themselves – a look at the Gujarat scenario

A look at the Gujarat scenario
A look at the Gujarat scenario

A look at the Gujarat scenario

Happy days are here again for two former Gujarat ministers and senior police officers who were in jail on charges of murder and running extortion racket. They are not only out on bail but placed in prime position of power.

While the former Gujarat home minister, who was in jail and released on bail facing murder charge, has been appointed the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, former women and child welfare minister Maya Kodnani, serving  a 28-year imprisonment on the serious charge of leading the massacre of 90 people in 2002, has been released on bail on medical grounds.

On the day after the Independence Day, the Gujarat government not only revoked the suspension of a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Abhay Chudasama, but also reinstated him in the state police vigilance squad, considered a much-sought after position. Chudasama was in jail for the last four years facing the charge of staging a fake encounter and running an extortion racket.

Chudasama,  a 1999 batch officer, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 2010 for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.  Sheikh and his wife Kausarbi were abducted and killed in 2005, near Gandhinagar in a fake  encounter. Other IPS officers accused in the case include D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, both from the Gujarat cadre and Dinesh MN of the Rajasthan cadre. 

Earlier, the Gujarat  government had reinstated IPS officer GL Singhal who is an accused in the infamous Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.

Gujarat has had the dubious distinction of having over a dozen senior police officers, including additional director general of police PP Pandey, rotting in jail facing serious charges of murder and conspiracy.

While Amit Shah, Abhay Chudasama, G L Singhal, Maya Kodnani can now look forward to a happier life, out of jail and a possible exoneration of the crimes they have been charged with, the police officers who were responsible for booking them by investigating the cases diligently without fear are facing harassment and vindictive action from their political masters. Rahul Sharma, the IPS officer, who had shown the guts of furnishing the details of calls exchanged between the accused and ministers during the 2002 communal violence, is facing departmental inquiry against him for alleged insubordination and denied a promotion. Satish Verma, another IPS officer, who had investigated the fake encounter case as a member of the Special Investigation Team constituted by the Gujarat High Court, has been charged with causing custodial death of a criminal more than a decade ago.

Another IPS officer, Sanjeev Bhatt was suspended after he deposed before the inquiry commission looking into the 2002 violence. He had accused the then chief minister Narendra Modi of having instructed the state police to let the members of the majority community give vent to their anger against the minority community, to avenge the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad volunteers returning from Ayodhya by train near the Godhra railway station.

Now that the BJP has come to power at the centre and is already in power in Gujarat, the latest move to reinstate Chudasama and Singhal gives out a message loud and clear to the top rung of the police administration that they better remain on the right side of their political bosses or face adverse consequences.

 Moderator’s note: This is entirely a personal opinion of the writer

Related Information:

100 Days of Modi Government