D G Vanzara: From a farmer's scholarly son to a jailed encounter cop

Dahyaji Gobarji VanzaraConvocation at Sabarmati jail. Vanzara and Ahmedabad blast accused Sajid Mansoori congratulate each other for degrees. express archive

At Sabarmati jail's Sardar Yard, he has written Rantankar, Sinh Garjana and Vijaypanth. "I admire the writer in him; as for the rest, the law will decide whether he was right or wrong," says Ramnik Rawal, an artist in Palanpur who wrote him a letter that appears in Sinh Garjana.

The allegations of picking fights came from jailed SP Rajkumar Pandian and DSP N K Amin, now out on bail. The biggest of these was in 2009, after which Amin wrote to police and government authorities that Vanzara had tried to kill him in jail.

Since 2010, Vanzara has enrolled in a number of distance learning courses and won degrees from IGNOU and Annamalai University in spirituality and yoga, human rights and public administration, besides having applied recently for Gandhi and Peace studies. His cell has a cushioned bed, a desk, a rack of books and stationery, as well as a small temple where he meditates twice a day. He reportedly writes notes on whatever he sees outside the cell and chats with both jail officials and undertrials. At Taloja Jail, too, he had been allowed a desk and a personal library.

He shares a wall with his former crime branch boss P P Pandey, also arrested in the Ishrat Jahan encounter. They are not on talking terms, jail officials say.

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