Satish Verma: The next cop in the firing line?
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Troubles seem to be mounting for Satish Verma, the 1986-batch IPS officer who has been posted as the principal of the Police Training College at Junagadh in the latest reshuffle, with the Gujarat High Court ordering a probe by the additional DGP into an encounter killing and two custodial deaths in Porbandar district during 1996-97 when he was posted there as the superintendent of police.
Verma already faces allegations that he went soft on Abdul Sattar Maulana, an accused in the 1993 RDX landing case who allegedly facilitated the landing of the consignment of explosives at Gosabara coast off Porbandar which was later used for serial blasts in Mumbai.
The police officer first fell out with the state government when he, as DIG (border range) in 2005, recommended the arrest of Radhanpur BJP MLA Shankar Chaudhary for his alleged involvement in the killing of two Muslim boys in the post-Godhra riots. Soon after, he was posted to the SRP Training Chowky at Sorath (Junagadh).
In 2006, he got additional charge as principal of the PTC at Junagadh.
Verma's second run-in with the state government was in 2011 when he, as a member of the three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the High Court to probe the Ishrat encounter killing, took a different line from the other two members, filing an affidavit in the High Court that the encounter killing could have been staged.
As part of the probe, he also raided the Forensic Sciences Laboratory to dig out evidence to back his stand. Verma's stand pitted him against top police officers, including former DGP K R Kaushik, who he put under the scanner. This time, Verma, an IG now, was shifted to the the Ahmedabad traffic department, where he served for months before being shifted to PTC at Junagadh for a second time.
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