His immediate family aside, few knew Mohammed Tanzeel Ahmed was an officer deputed with the National Investigation Agency. His family and friends knew him as an upright, humble police officer and someone to look up to.
Ahmed was killed by two motorcycle-borne assailants Sunday morning, when he was driving back home with his family after a wedding near his village Sahaspur in Bijnor, UP. Ahmed succumbed after suffering 22 bullet injuries and his wife Farzana battles for life in a Noida hospital with four bullet wounds. Thier two children — 12-year-old son Shahbaaz and 15-year-old daughter Zimnish – and nephew, who were also in the car escaped unharmed.
Ahmed’s sister-in-law Ruksana said he never discussed his work. “Many of our neighbours and family did not even know he worked with the NIA. He was a problem solver.”
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Ahmed had been with NIA for the past six years and had worked both in its intelligence as well investigations wing. The 47-year-old officer joined BSF as a sub-inspector on May 1991 and was an Assistant commandant at the time of his death. According to BSF he was part of the in-house team of the force that was involved in giving vigilance cover. He had also served in the BSF Academy at Tekanpur and its training centre at Hazaribagh.
Family members say he often helped family members in trouble. Safdar Ali, Ahmed’s cousin, said, “A lot of problems within the family and even outside was mediated by him…He also kept a very low profile and did not bother about his appearance. This is one of the reasons why he did not carry a any weapon on the night when he was attacked as thought there isn’t any need of it.” Ali added that these attributes made him popular among his family and friends.
And its not only his family who holds Ahmed in high esteem, his fellow officers in the Border Security Force – his parent cadre from where he joined the NIA in 2009 on deputation – believe Ahmed was among the best in their batch of 1991.
Anil Shekhawat, currently works as the PRO National Disaster Response Force(NDRF), had joined BSF along with Ahmed in the year 1991. “We were trained together and he joined as a sub-inspector. He was a very hardworking colleague and had an exceptional ability to mix with the crowd,” said Sekhawat.
Before the NIA, Ahmed served with the BSF in Punjab, Kashmir, Hazaribagh, the Indo-Bangladesh border and Kolkata. One thing that was common to all places was his exceptional service record and integrity, according to Ahmed’s previous colleagues in the BSF.
According to Shekhawat, Ahmed completed his Bachelors in Arts and B.Ed from Jamia Milia Islamia and later joined the BSF. “After training Tanzeel was sent to the borders of Punjab and Kashmir. He was so good at his job that he was roped in to train other BSF recruits at the BSF Training Centre in HazariBagh where he stayed for four years,” said Shekhawat.
Surjeet Singh Guleria, currently DIG NDRF, was Tanzeel’s commading officer in BSF’s NDRF Batallion. Guleria said, “Initially NDRF was not a separate entity and BSF’s NDRF Batallion worked during any disaster in some parts of India. Tanzeel came to NDRF batallion in 2006 and was posted in Kolkata where he worked for two years.” Guleria said that Tanzeel was sent to BSF’s vigilance department in 2008 and added, “People with only high amount of integrity are sent to vigilance department as it requires keeping an eye on the activities within the BSF.”
NIA IG Sanjeev Singh said, “Tanzeel was an asset to the agency and his death is a great loss to NIA. I have personally worked with him and can say that he was an excellent officer. We, as an agency along with other police forces, have taken it as a challenge to bring the perpetrators of this crime to book. We will not rest until that happens.”