Raja Bhaiya case: DSP an officer and a gentleman, death shatters a village's dreams
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Murdered, allegedly by Raja Bhaiyya's men in Pratapgarh Zia-ul-Haque's life story was transfixing. Selected for the Provincial Police Service (PPS) in 2009, Haque carried with him the hopes and dreams of his entire village. As the only Class I officer from Zuafar, in Deoria district, he became a role model for the village youth.
His batchmates in the PPS remember him as a mostly serious man, who would at times regale them with soulful ghazals and Urdu couplets.
His colleagues remember DSP Haque as a conscientious officer. They recall how, during his first posting as circle officer (CO), Aalapur, in Ambedkar Nagar, Haque staved off violence after Ambedkar's statue was damaged in Ratna village in April 2012. "He pacified the villagers, even gave them money for another statue, and stayed there till late in the evening," said Jai Shanker Singh, who was then station officer of Aalapur.
After Ambedkar Nagar, Haque, 32, was posted as the circle officer of Kunda — his second and final posting. He was murdered, allegedly by Raja Bhaiyya's men, in Balipur village of Pratapgarh district on March 2, just over a month after he celebrated his first wedding anniversary with wife Parveen Azad, a dental student, on January 21.
His death brought together his many friends, those who had studied with him or worked with him. The policemen in Ambedkar Nagar decided to donate a day's salary to his family. His old teachers turned up for his last rites.
The eldest of four siblings, Haque completed his schooling from Shivaji Inter College, Khukhundi, in Deoria, after which he went to Allahabad University. His father used to work in a small restaurant in Deoria, but he quit the job after Haque started earning, first by giving private tuitions, and later as a police officer.
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