O P Sharma
This 196-page book entitled: “Peer Ghulam Hassan Shah and the Jammu and Kashmir Police” is an accurate biography of the first DGP of J&K State. This Kashmiri police officer rose from ASI to the top slot of first Director General Police (DGP) with credible achievements as builder and reformer. This interesting and exciting story is told in a lucid style by Abdul Rashid Khan, ex-IGP who had close association with Peer Sahib’s life and functioning. He had bright and rapid career in the Police and building infrastructure in J&K State. This was need of the hour which was done admirably by the ex-DGP during his eventful tenure of 36 years.
Born on June 20, 1926, in a small village, Shutloo, Baramulla to Peer Mohammad Maqbool Shah and mother Mohtramas Sarwa Khatoon he got married on December 9, 1952 with Mohtarma Masuda, daughter of Khawja Ghulam Ahmad Kakroo. Peer Sahib has two sons Zubair and Raffit and two daughters Faiza and Iffat.
He had primary education in his native village and was a bright student during the school years and received scholarship. Later, he joined sixth standard at St. Joesp’s High School, Baramulla in 1938. During 1943, after he did matriculation with merit, he continued his education in the Sri Pratap College, Srinagar.
The book contains 18 chapters detailing his life, upbringing, education and entry into the Police service. The graphic account of his speedy and sustained rise in career is a story of his hard work, vision, professionalism and good image. During his career, he faced numerous challenging situations like recovery of Mou-i-Muqasdus and his role as SP, CID ; DIG, Kashmir, Commissioner of Vigilance have been given in this biography. His security arrangements during the Parliamentary and Assembly election was commendable and won him public appreciation. He tackled some complicated cases and got good word from higher-ups. He had training at Central Detective Training Institute at Calcutta West Bengal (now Kolkata) during 1958 with distinction. He brought many reforms and also solved numerous notable problems and public issues, for which he is one of the tallest Police Officer.
To tell the story of the modern Jammu and Kashmir police force, we need to delve into the various aspects of the life of the person who is mainly responsible for its development and expansion. This person is none other than Peer Ghulam Hassan Shah, who rose to the pinnacle of success by the dint of hardwork , dedication ; and devotion to the duty. He is a highly decorated police officer and has been awarded the President’s Medal for Distinguished Services and the President’s Medal for Gallantry.
A locality in Sopore was renamed Shahabad after him by the local people in recognition of the work he did there when he served as a junior police officer; a rare honour for any policeman!
The author of this biographacial sketch is former IGP and a prolific writer who has given a graphic account of the speedy rise in carreer of Peer Ghulam Hassan Shah from ASI to the first top post of DGP in the sensitive in Jammu and Kashmir State. He is known as Police officer who drastically changed J&K Police into a modern force with provision of sufficient trained man-power with infrastructure. Our Police force is now taking on the daunting task of terrorism. Peer Sahib Story is both interesting as well as inspiring for the young generation. He was appointed first DGP by the Chief Minister Sheikh Mohd. Abdulla on May 24, 1982 and he remained on this post till January 8, 1985 when he put his papers marking the end of his 36 years of dedicated service.
A chapter is devoted to “After Retirement” when he toured U S A and England as also some middle-east countries. He has given his important views and vision about the police in the last chapter titled : Reflections. Ex-DGP, Peer opines that instead of mere involvement in law and order duties, the police must act in preventing and detecting crimes for the benefit of the general public. “Policing by consent” is the motoo with British Police and we have to have a hard re-look and bring about radical reforms in our policing system with high degree of professionalism. Senior officers, he argues, essentially need to set an example by their behavior and conduct. He further adds : “J&K Police Force has been, and continues to be , a source of immense pride to me”.
It is worth mentioning that Peer Sahib declined some lucrative offers of official assignments , some very big ones, during his post-retirement period. This adds to his dignity and honour. He has lived a very purposeful life, contributed to the society and upgraded the police system and structure. He must be a satisfied person with some proud achievements in the past.
The book has been well produced, finely printed on a quality paper and written in absorbing style. The author deserves a compliment and the publisher too need a good word for exploring this new field of biography of our enlightened J&K State police officer. This work will prove inspiring for our youngsters. I read this book with excitement and recalled some meetings with this super-cop. Hope that this book will be read by one and all.
(Starline Syndicate Service)
O P Sharma