If we would not have acted after Godhra, Gujarat would have been soon converted into another Kashmir says DG Vanzara, retired DIG of Gujarat police, who expressed his feeling after the Headley’s testimony on Ishrat Jahan
DG Vanzara claimed that he always believed that national Interests should be above politics and no one should try to harm them just for political gains. In his deposition before the Mumbai special court David Headley aka Dawood Gilani, the Pakistani American terrorist finally accepted that Ishrat was on a terror mission of LeT when she was killed. Vanzara and his colleagues had intercepted her along with the three terrorists. She was unfortunately projected as “innocent victims” and we were killed for implicating innocent persons for “political bosses”. He subsequently had been imprisoned for eight years with pending cases in the Court. Recently he got bail but on condition of keeping away from Gujarat.
He spoke to Organiser on special request. There is a sense of relief, as his stand stands vindicated by Headley’s testimony. Headley has put on record many things about LeT, ISI and Pakistan involvement in terrorism. Headley was the one who visited Mumbai many times prior to 26/11 attack and prepared maps for attack on behalf of ISI and LeT. He also said that Ishrat was a trained LeT operative and was on a mission to attack security establishments, when she was killed.
Vanzara said, “We (Gujarat police) had done nothing wrong and illegal. Every action was legal and was necessary for public security. It is relaxing that our stand has been vindicated by Headley’s testimony. Though what Headley said is nothing new, his testimony is very important as it is being deposed before court and it puts the records straight in legal perspective. It legally nails the Pakistan for its official terror support.”
Asked about what he feels about the persons who supported Ishrat, he says in a calm demeanour, “It is sad to see that few people crossed all lines of anti-nationalism to support terrorists, just to oppose political opponents. Nationalism should be above politics. No one should be allowed to take anti-national stand just for sake of vote bank politics.” He further adds, “I am surprised to see that they targeted honest police officers of Gujarat and elsewhere. Instead of being supported, they were even jailed and tortured.”
“Gujrat would have been another Kashmir…”
Vanzara explains the tough actions the Gujarat police had taken against terrorism. “It’s the constitutional duty of the government to protect the life, freedom and property of the citizens of Bharat. The government and politicians failed to fulfill this duty when Kashmiri Pundits were forced to live as refugees in their own country. Many of them were killed and their lands were grabbed. This happened in 1989 and since then the Bhasmasur of terrorism has been haunting Bharat, as the then Government sent a wrong signal and terrorists thought they could do whatever they wanted. As Gujarat is a border State, they were trying to do the same there. If we would not have acted, Gujarat would have been another Kashmir after Godhra. We were merely fulfilling our constitutional duty.”
Well studied, calm personality
Said to be from backword community himself, Vanzara has a very calm and composed person. He has penned down three books of poetry in Gujarati—‘Rann Tankar’, ‘Simha Garjana’ and ‘Vijay Panth’. His fourth collection of poems is waiting for publication next month. Vanjara says that he did not waste any minute in jail and studied a lot during his imprisonment. He completed many degrees and diplomas even after being in jail. MSc in Moral Education and Spirituality is one of his degrees he is most proud of. He has studied different religions and done comparative studies of religions. Vanzara keeps urging everyone he meets, that party politics should be kept aside while handling the issues of National Interests.
(As told to Rajesh Prabhu Salgaonkar)