D. G. Vanzara

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Dahyaji Gobarji Vanzara popularly known as D G Vanzara is the former Deputy Inspector-General of Police from Gujarat, India. He was in judicial custody from 2007 to until his bail in 2015 on charges of having conducted a series of extra-judicial killings [1] while heading the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).[2] He was acquitted in Sohrabuddin case in 2017.[3]


An IPS officer of the 1987 batch, his tenure as head of the city crime bureau saw a spurt in encounter killings of criminals. He was known to be close to Home Minister Amit Shah, who made 331 calls to Vanzara and other police officers, many of them around the time of these killings.[4][5]

The suspect killings include:

As of September 2013, there were 32 police officers, including six IPS officers who were on jail for these encounters.[8] Most of them had worked under Vanzara.

Vanzara himself had a meteoric rise since the early 2000s, when the encounters to eliminate terrorists began.[9]

In his 2013 letter of resignation, Vanzara has stated,[8]

The CID/CBI arrested my officers and me holding us responsible for carrying out allegedly fake encounters. If that is true, then the CBI investigating officers for all four cases have to arrest the policy formulators too as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the policy of this government, which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from very close quarters.

On 18 May 2008, ex-DSP N K Amin, also arrested in the case, told the court "that a police-politician-criminal nexus was in operation in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case".[10] The high level of direct communication from Shah, as minister, to an on-duty officer has also been questioned in court.[11]

In the Tulsiram Prajapati case, the encounter killing took place in Banaskantha district. Just 13 days earlier, Vanzara was surprisingly transferred there as DIG Border range. On questioning, Amit Shah could not remember why.[12] Shah has been indicted as the "kingpin and prime accused"[13] in the Tulsiram Prajapati murder case.

Vanzara's letter also refers to political mileage obtained from the killings. In the 2007 elections, Modi had asked the electorate as to what was to be done with people like Sohrabuddin, to thunderous responses of "Kill him!".[14]

In September 2013, after six years in prison, Vanzara, who calls himself a "nationalist Hindu"[15] and looks upon Narendra Modi as "god",[16] has become disgruntled. He is said to have suggested a connection between the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case and the unsolved murder of ex-BJP minister Haren Pandya,[17] who at one time a minister under Narendra Modi. Pandya was shot dead while out on a morning walk in March 2003, a year after his fallout with Modi. In 2003, it was Vanzara who had originally investigated the Pandya murder.[18] Similar claims have also been made by the DNA newspaper,[19] which has suggested that Sheikh was eliminated because of his links to the political murder of Pandya.

Vanzara was released on bail on 18 February 2015.[20] He was acquitted in Sohrabuddin case in August 2017 due to lack of evidence.[3]


  1. ^ Subhash Gatade (September 21, 2013). "Modi's 'Vanzara' Moment: Encounter Killings as State Policy". Mainstream.
  2. ^ "Who is DG Vanzara?". NDTV. August 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "DG Vanzara discharged: Former Gujarat cop cleared in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case due to lack of evidence". Firstpost. 2017-08-02. Archived from the original on 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  4. ^ "India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Tehelka. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  5. ^ http://news.rediff.com/special/2010/jul/23/explained-what-cbi-summons-to-amit-shah-in-sohrabuddin-encounter-case-means.htm
  6. ^ http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main30.asp?filename=Ne190507Fake_killingsCS.asp
  7. ^ Ashish Khetan and Harinder Baweja (2007-05-12). "Death by Firing Squad". Tehelka.
  8. ^ a b http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-modi-was-my-god-amitbhai-usurped-his-eyes-and-ears-/1164159/
  9. ^ Premal Balan (September 6, 2013). "Newsmaker: Dahyabhai Gobarji Vanzara supercop's resentment explodes". Business Standard.
  10. ^ Lyla Bavadam (2010-10-08). "Dreaded group". Frontline.
  11. ^ "'If police control and command were not violated, Amit Shah would not be in this mess'". rediff.com. July 23, 2010.
  12. ^ Vinay Kumar (January 10, 2012). "CBI to question Amit Shah again in Prajapati case". The Hindu.
  13. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/tulsiram-prajapati-encounter-cbi-names-amit-shah-as-kingpin/1004520/
  14. ^ "Modi justifies Sohrabuddin's encounter". rediff.com. December 5, 2007.Snippet:Addressing an election meeting at Mangrol in South Gujarat yesterday, Modi questioned the crowd as to what should have been done to a man who dealt with illegal arms and ammunition, to which it shouted back "kill him".
  15. ^ http://www.ahmedabadmirror.com/printarticle.aspx?page=comments&action=translate&sectid=2&contentid=2013090420130904030303562a3d65975&subsite=
  16. ^ PTI (Sep 3, 2013). "DG Vanzara on Narendra Modi: My 'god' has betrayed me". Times of India.
  17. ^ "DG Vanzara sings about Haren Pandya murder, says it was political conspiracy: CBI". Times of India. September 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  18. ^ Vinod K Jose (March 2012). "The Emperor Uncrowned : The rise of Narendra Modi". Caravan magazine. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  19. ^ "Was it Tulsiram Prajapati who killed Haren Pandya?". DNA (newspaper). August 30, 2011. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  20. ^ Shaikh, Sarfaraz (2015-02-18). "Ache din are back: Vanzara after release". The Times of India. Retrieved 2015-05-15.