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Profile: Hasan Gafoor

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Hasan Gafoor, former Police Commissioner of Mumbai, died of a heart attack in Mumbai’s Beach Candy Hospital on 12 March. After complaining of chest pain he was rushed to the Hospital but died before any treatment could be administered. Belonging to a zamindar family of Hyderabad, he had probably enough ancestral property and money and that is why he accepted only one rupee as token salary and deposited the rest of his salary in Police Welfare Fund.

He was reputed to be a sincere, honest, kind and devoted officer, though subsequently he became controversial in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Mumbai on 26 November 2008 and city’s police force took more or less three days to rid the city of terrorists and killed all of them except one but at a heavy price. The Pradhan Committee which probed the attack and police role blamed him (Gafoor) of not providing the needed leadership in a crisis like this. Gafoor, in a statement, said that senior police officers had not responded effectively to deal with such a crisis. This remark had displeased many senior officers. It is still a matter of controversy whether he had actually failed to provide leadership role in such a crisis or the report singling him for this claim was itself influenced by some ulterior motive seeing that many top officers including K.P. Raghuvanshi who was Maharashtra’s ATS chief at that time greatly praised him for handling the terrorists attack deftly. Top police officers praised his sense of duty, honesty and kind behaviour towards his subordinates. He initiated many welfare schemes for not only the men on duty but for their families also. Inspite of being the Police Commissioner, he preferred to lead a simple life. The fact that even after the adverse report by the Pradhan Committee, though he was transferred from his post but was promoted as Director General of Anti-Corruption Bureau which is extraordinary as in departments like the Police and Army an officer with adverse remarks is generally not promoted to a higher post. In the police department he was a role model of honesty, devotion to duty, impartiality and excellent behaviour towards his subordinates. Senior I.P.S. officers said that the credit for upgradation of weapons and equipment by Mumbai police should largely be given to him who was an IPS officer of 1974 batch. Media shy and a reticent person, he was well-versed in Urdu, Hindi, English and Marathi.

He was 61 and leaves behind a wife and a daughter. It is a pity that on his retirement, the traditional protocol of farewell dinner and police parade, which is given to all top ranking retiring IPS officers, was missing. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2012 on page no. 12

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