Rajnish Rai was behind the investigation in Gujarat; officer had recently exposed fake encounters in Assam.
New Delhi: Senior Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai who had investigated the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case is learnt to have sought voluntary retirement from service.
Sources told ThePrint that the IPS officer sent his request for voluntary retirement to the state government, which will forward it to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the issuance of formal orders.
The 1992-batch IPS officer has been in the Narendra Modi government’s cross-hairs ever since his investigation brought out the controversial role played by senior Gujarat Police officers P.C. Pandey and O.P. Mathur in the alleged fake encounter case. Another Gujarat police officer, D.G. Vanzara, had been arrested for his alleged involvement in the episode.
The role of BJP president Amit Shah — he was the home minister in the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat — in the case has also remained under the scanner.
Work in Assam, Jharkhand
More recently, Rai had exposed cases of alleged fake encounters by armed forces in Assam, after which the matter reached the Supreme Court through a PIL filed by civil society activists.
Rai was in Shillong as IG, North Sector, CRPF, when his report blew the lid off the encounter killings. Earlier this year, he was transferred to Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.
Incidentally, the CRPF had refused to make his encounter report public, on the grounds that it was exempted under the RTI Act. The Central Information Commission (CIC) had then ordered the force to provide it a copy so it could understand if there was merit in the CRPF’s stand.
Last year, the MHA had chargesheeted the officer for having conducted a probe in a corruption case while he was posted as chief vigilance officer (CVO) with Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), Jaduguda, Jharkhand.
The Central Administrative Tribunal later stayed the chargesheet, which was issued on the ground that Rai had not taken the requisite permission before initiating the inquiry into the scam. On his part, the officer had alleged that the chargesheet was aimed at stalling his promotion.
Even the CAT, while staying the inquiry against him, observed that there was nothing against him in so far as the issue of integrity was concerned.