July 1, 2021 2:15:09 am
Former Director General of Police (DGP) Tirth Raj died at his residence in Ahmedabad on Wednesday morning, following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 62.
An IPS officer of 1984 batch, Tirth Raj, retired in January 2019 as the DGP (Human Rights), Human Rights Commission of the Gujarat Police. Tirth Raj, a native of Delhi, who had an MA degree in Economics, had an illustrious career in Gujarat Police as he was remembered for his efforts to bring the gang violence in Porbandar to an end back in the 1990’s when he was posted over there as a deputy superintendent of police.
“We had received information that IPS officer Tirth Raj suffered from a massive cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning at his residence in Ghatlodia of Ahmedabad. The Gujarat Police stands by his family in their moment of grief,” said a senior police official at Ahmedabad Police.
Tirth Raj, as Inspector General (IG) Human Rights in 2007, had investigated the alleged fake encounter killing of Samir Khan Pathan by Gujarat Police’s Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) team headed by former IPS officer DG Vanzara October, 2002, in the wake of post Godhra riots, which became the first “encounter” in a series of many such encounters carried out by the Gujarat Police.
It was then alleged by the Ahmedabad DCB that Pathan was an operative of Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammad out on a plan to assassinate the then chief minister Narendra Modi. Later in 2018, an inquiry report by retired Supreme Court judge HS Bedi submitted to the state government termed the encounter of Pathan as “fake”.
Tirth Raj is remembered by his fellow officers as a diligent and hardworking officer with a keen eye on details while doing police work.
“Tirth Raj is credited with curbing the gang war in Porbandarin the 1990s when he was posted as a Dysp. Later, he was also appointed as Porbandar SP and then as Surendranagar SP… He was a recluse in his personal life however he had a warm, lovable personality at work and he always helped his junior officers even after retirement,” said a senior IPS officer, a former colleague of Tirth Raj, on condition of anonymity.
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