Ashish Pandya, accused in Prajapati encounter killing, resigns as DySP

In 2010, the Gujarat CID Crime arrested Pandya who was an inspector with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Rajkot. In 2011, as per Supreme Court order, Prajapati case was taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Gujarat Police officer Ashish Pandya, who was once an accused in the alleged fake encounter killing of gangster Tulsiram Prajapati, submitted his resignation on Thursday, after 20 years of service.

Pandya, 42, who is currently the deputy superintendent of police (DYSP) Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Cell of Kutch (west) Bhuj police, submitted his resignation to the additional chief secretary of Home Department of Gujarat government, citing “personal reasons” for the resignation.

On December 28, 2006, Pandya who was a sub-inspector, led a team of Banaskantha Police Special Operations Group (SOG) and Rajasthan Police’s Special Task Force (STF) for the encounter killing of gangster Tulsiram Prajapati. Pandya who allegedly fired at Prajapati, suffered a bullet injury on his left arm.

In 2010, the Gujarat CID Crime arrested Pandya who was an inspector with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Rajkot. In 2011, as per Supreme Court order, Prajapati case was taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

According to CBI, it was former Anti-Terrorist Squad chief DG Vanzara who had allegedly asked IPS officer and then superintendent of police Vipul Aggarwal to summon Pandya, who was on administrative leave, for the encounter of Prajapati.

Pandya was finally given bail in December 2014 by the Bombay High Court and in 2015, the Gujarat government reinstated him as circle inspector in Kutch Gandhidham. In December 2018, Pandya was among the 22 accused cops who were discharged by a court, after which he was promoted and made DySP of SC/ST Cell in Kutch Bhuj.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Pandya said that he wishes to do farming in his native village after his police service ends.

“I completed 20 years of service in Gujarat Police on June 30 this year. I joined as an unarmed PSI in Rajkot Rural and I have seen more than 40 transfers in my career. I have not been able to give much time to my family due to my stay in jail for 5 years and the nature of police job. Now I intend to return to my native village in Bhuj and do farming and spend time with my family,” said Pandya.

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