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The Maverick Cop

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DySP Zaheer Abass Zafri: A cop of valor

When things go wrong, most of us blame the system. But a system is made up of its people and when some within the system stand up for what they believe is right, they deserve commendation, not condemnation.

Sandeep Singh Sasan and R Gopal Sharma meet and profile bold and daring cops across the country who have fought and continue to fight all odds in their quest to administer the rule of law, without fear and favor. Some have incurred the wrath of their political and bureaucratic bosses for their plucky and their career stories are a sordid saga of frequent transfers and insignificant postings; other have been lucky and braved the storms caused by their defiance. But one thing remains common among them all. A redeeming fervor to rise way above the compliance and nepotism that dogs India’s bureaucratic labyrinth.

Ours is by no means an exhaustive list, there may be many more such unsung champs in the forces. But we do know that they are the growing breed of real-life cops emulating real-life heroes. They are showing the way to countless silent spectators within the system who although upholding similar ideals, never had the guts to speak up or stand out.

In this edition, meet SDPO East (Jammu) Zaheer Abaas Zafri,  a highly decorated officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. He has brought number of laurels to the State Police by ably handling many critical situations. Hailing from village Gursai of Tehsil Mendhar, district Poonch, Zaheer completed his post graduations in Chemistry and Urdu, thereafter, he joined State Education Department as a teacher and served the department till 2010.

As destiny plays an important role in one’s life and career, he made up his mind to serve the society as a police officer. So, Zaheer appeared for State Prestigious Combined Service Examination and cleared that in 2011. During the course of his service in the Police Department, he has hold number of important positions Viz. SHO ( Probationer) Anantnag, SDPO Pahalgam, DySP Law and order components at Rajouri and Shopian, DySP operation at Pulwama, SDPO Mendhar and currently, he is holding the charge of  SDPO East (Jammu)

It appears from the previous postings that the officer possesses outstanding professionalism and bravery. On 25th Aug 2017 three heavily armed militants entered District Police Lines, Pulwama and shot dead the buddy of the then ASP Chandan Kohli,  Zaheer immediately swung into action, got evacuated 50 families from the quarters and neutralized all the militants. Not only this,  as SDPO Mendhar, the officer has solved three typical murder cases. In one of these cases, he was himself an investigative officer. He also seized 14 Kg Heroin like substance, thus,  tightened the noose on narcotic smugglers. Recently, as SDPO East Jammu, Zaheer has solved many theft cases and made the recovery more than 50 lakh.

A born medalist:- For his outstanding professionalism and bravery, he has been awarded with more than 10 times. The list of his medals is endless. During 2017, 2019 and 2022, he has been awarded with Jammu and Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry, during 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the officer has been decorated with President Medal for Gallantry. Not only these, he has also got DGP Jammu and Kashmir Police Medal during 2016, DGP CRPF Commendation during 2018, Chief of Army Staff, Commendation during 2019 and the best investigation award during 2021. So one can say that Zaheer is a born medalist.

 When asked whether he feels any political pressure with his job, the tough-as-nails cop says, “We manage it with our professional way. Honesty and courage are powerful weapons in governance. If we possess these two, no one can influence you, however powerful he or she might be.”

About message to the people, “Police is to the service of the society, so be friendly with the Police,” says DySP

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