Ahmedabad: In a controversial move, a suspended Gujarat IPS officer, an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing case who spent four years in jail, has been reinstated by the state's BJP government and given a plum posting.
Abhay Chudasama, who is currently on bail, has been reinstated and posted as Superintendent of Police of Vigilance Squad in the DGP's office in Gandhinagar, according to a Home Department notification issued at midnight last night.
Besides him, the Home Department has transferred and given new postings to seven other senior IPS officers.
Chudasama, arrested four years ago and later suspended, is the first Sohrabuddin case accused IPS official to be brought back to service. Earlier, Gujarat government reinstated IPS officer G L Singhal, an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter killing case.
At present called the State Monitoring Cell, the squad works directly under the Director General of Police. However, the cell is still popularly referred as "DG Vigilance Squad".
The post of SP in the Monitoring Cell is considered a powerful position since the squad has powers to conduct raids anywhere in Gujarat to curb crimes.
Chudasama, a 1999-batch officer, was arrested by CBI in April 2010 for alleged involvement in the staged killing of Sohrabuddin, a suspected gangster, and his wife Kausarbi in November 2005 by a police team near Gandhinagar.
After four years in jail, he was granted bail on April 28 this year by Bombay High Court. The trial of the case had been transferred to Mumbai from Ahmedabad by the Supreme Court.
Other IPS officers named accused in the case include D G Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandian, both from Gujarat cadre and Dinesh M N of Rajasthan cadre.
According to CBI, Sohrabuddin, who was accused of having links to Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, and his wife were abducted by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad.
The central agency has said Sohrabuddin had demanded a hefty protection money from a businessman and this was the prime reason why he was eliminated.