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Gujarat ‘fake encounter’ cops suspended


Ahmedabad : The Gujarat government has suspended two senior police officers charged with the staged killing of a Muslim, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a full 12 days after they were arrested.

Deputy Inspector General (Border Range) D.G. Vanzara and Superintendent of Police (Intelligence Bureau) Rajkumar Pandian were suspended late Saturday after a city court extended their police remand to May 8.

The duo along with M.N. Dinesh Kumar, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from neighbouring Rajasthan, were arrested here April 24 on the charge of killing Sheikh in November 2005 as a terrorist.

The officers branded Sheikh, reportedly a petty criminal, as a terrorist out to murder Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

While the government rulebook says that any arrested officer has to be suspended after 48 hours in police custody, the Gujarat government delayed the move and took action only after facing heat from the opposition over the "encounter episode".

A home department official said the two Gujarat police officers were "deemed suspended" after their arrest though the formal orders were issued only Saturday.