The violent pursuing peace education in jail

August 2nd, 2011 - 11:19 am ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, Aug 2 (IANS) A former top cop of Gujarat Police who allegedly ordered a couple to a violent end now gets set to undertake a course in the peaceful pursuit of Gandhian studies.

Suspended deputy inspector general of police (DIG) D.G. Vanzara, who sent an assorted range of criminals into the incarcerating confines of the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad, today bides time in the same prison arraigned for the 2005 staged shoot-out killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi. Other staged shoot-outs under investigation await him in the wings. Meanwhile, the man has decided to pursue a course in Gandhian studies.

Vanzara is in prison along with fellow officers and men accused of ordering the killing of Sheikh and numerous others after making them out to be terrorists out to kill high-profile political targets in Gujarat. He has already done a Post-Graduate Diploma in Value Education and Spirituality offered by Annamalai University and sponsored by Brahmakumaris, says Additional Director General of Police, P.C. Thakur, who is now head of jails in the state.

Thakur said Monday that he has taken up a major overhaul of the 24 incarceration facilities in the state. “As part of it we are encouraging both prisoners and undertrials to pursue a wide variety of courses and studies and the response has been very enthusiastic,” he said.

Vanzara is not a lone ranger. He has many co-travellers - of chequered criminal colouration - on board the knowledge bus. There is terror tout Safdar Nagori who graduated through the 2008 serial blasts in Ahmedabad and now chases a post-graduate diploma in value education which his partner in similar putrid pursuits, Mirza Beig, has already completed.

Beig, who triggered a crisis of sorts through the chain blasts, is now taking up an MBA in Crisis Management. Atul Patel, behind bars for the infamous Patan gangrape case, has also chosen to master in Value Education and Spirituality.

“The post-graduate diploma in Value Education and Spirituality is sponsored by the Brahmakumaris,” said Thakur, adding that the enthusiastic response is making them turn it into a full-fledged post-graduate degree course from this year.

Thakur said many universities, including IGNOU, BabaSaheb Ambedkar University, Annamalai University and Saurashtra University, are now opening study centres in district jails and we are offering myriad courses.

“We have made book reading mandatory and now have 60,000 books. We will be coming out with a book compilation of the writings of the inmates, published with the help of the Gujarat Sahitya Parishad.

“Vanzara’s contribution is two poems in the book,” said the jail chief.

(R.K. Misra can be contacted at rk.misra@ians.in)

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