Meanwhile, his family was forced to vacate their official residence in Gandhinagar, although they were entitled to it as they were posted in the North-East. Departmental proceedings were also initiated against him for ‘talking to the media’ among other charges.
Verma had moved the Delhi High Court last year against the departmental proceedings against him. He was being tortured for his report and statement in the Ishrat Jahan case. The central government informed the court on August 30 that the departmental proceedings against Verma had been completed and on the basis of the recommendation, he was dismissed from service. Verma moved the Supreme Court against the September 7 High Court order allowing the government to go ahead with the dismissals after September 19.
Verma is not the only IPS officer from Gujarat who has been punished by the government. In July, the Gujarat government moved at lightning speed to arrest retired Director General of Police RB Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt along with activist Teesta Setalvad after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition by former MP Ehsan Jafri’s widow Zakia Jafri. . To reopen one of the 2002 riots cases. He was charged with conspiracy to defame the state of Gujarat and “conspiracy to abuse the process of law by fabricating false evidence”. Bhatt, already jailed in a custodial death case in the 1990s, was brought out and re-arrested.
Another former IPS officer Rahul Sharma was also summoned and his statement was recorded, though he has not been arrested as of now. Sharma, a 1992 batch IPS officer, took voluntary retirement in 2015 after a decade-long tussle with the state government and is now an advocate in the Gujarat High Court.
He is allegedly being chased for providing call detail records (CDRs) of then ministers, officers and other functionaries of the Sangh Parivar to various commissions of inquiry during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
When Narendra Modi took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001, he immediately transferred five IAS officers for the alleged sin of being close to his predecessor and vice-chancellor, Keshubhai Patel. Three of them later left the service. The tone was set. Those who dared to oppose the Chief Minister or differed with him were certain. These included DGP (now retired) Kuldeep Sharma and RB Sreekumar.
Sharma, who was then the Additional Director General of Police of the CID, had sent a three-page report to the then Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad on August 1, 2005, recommending a CBI inquiry against his own minister Amit Shah in a co-operative bank scam. . Sharma was immediately removed from the post of Managing Director of Gujarat Sheep and Wool Development Corporation (GSWDC).
Sreekumar was also sidelined in his report to the then Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh for opposing the Gujarat Assembly elections after the 2002 riots. Sreekumar, in his report, had said that the atmosphere after the riots was communally charged and it was not appropriate to hold elections. However, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was keen to go to the polls and take advantage of the polarized environment.
Sreekumar was removed, but he sought judicial intervention and a year after his retirement he got his post and salary back. As head of the state’s intelligence bureau, he had described Narendra Modi’s speeches during the 2002 statewide ‘Gaurav Yatra’ as “provocative”. Sreekumar was also accused of leaking information to the media and prosecuted, but he challenged the verdict and won in the courts. Sreekumar had also filed a detailed affidavit before the Nanavati Shah judicial inquiry commission probing the riots.