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Battle lines have been drawn, says Vanzara
Claims charges are concocted

Ahmedabad, May 5
“The battlelines have been drawn”. This is what the arrested Gujarat IPS officer D G Vanzara said while talking informally to reporters when he was sitting in the court waiting for the proceedings to begin.

A calm, composed and unruffled Vanzara, arrested in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, smiled at reporters who were at the court to cover the proceedings when he was brought by the CID to seek further remand along with two other accused IPS officers.

The other two IPS officers — Rajkumar Pandian and Dineshkumar M N — however, appeared tense and avoided any chat with the media.

Though Vanzara did not clearly spell out battlelines have been drawn against whom, the indication he gave was he that was not affected by the happenings and that he was ready for a long battle.

Asked whether he still stands by his statement that Sheikh was a terrorist, he replied in the affirmative and said, “I have even stated this in the court of law.”

He claimed the allegations levelled against him in connection with Sheikh’s wife Kausar Bi’s case were “concocted”. The Gujarat government has admitted that Kausar Bi was killed and her body burnt. — PTI



Police custody till May 8

Ahmedabad, May 5
A court here today extended till May eight the police remand of three IPS officers arrested for the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter after Gujarat’s CID (Crime) argued that its probe into the motive behind the murder of his wife Kausar Bi was incomplete.

Producing the three IPS officers — DIG (Border Range) D G Vanzara, SP Rajkumar Pandiyan of the state intelligence wing and SP Dineshkumar M N from Rajasthan — before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate K J Upadhyaya, CID sought further custody of the accused.

“We have made significant progress in the case. We have found out where Kausar Bi was killed,” Public Prosecutor N H Saini told the court without giving details. “This is a serious crime,” he said, noting that the accused were high-profile police officers.

“We still need to find out the motive behind Kausar Bi’s murder.” Saini also told the judge that the CID had made good use of the four-day remand granted earlier by the court and had made significant progress in the case.

After hearing the arguments, the court remanded the three officials to police custody till May eight.

A number of people, including the supporters of Vanzara, gathered in the court premises even as the judge conducted the proceedings under tight security.

As the three IPS officials were led out to a vehicle after the proceedings ended, Vanzara’s supporters threw rose petals and garlands over them.

Members of Vanzara’s family were also present in court.

Throughout the hearing, Vanzara appeared calm and composed while the two other officers looked uneasy and tense as they talked to each other.

The CID had arrested the officials on April 24 after they were called for questioning by DIG Rajneesh Rai.

The three officials, who had thought they had been called for routine inquiries, were taken aback when Rai told them casually that they would be placed under arrest. — PTI



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