Former police chief Hasan Gafoor dead

Wife of former Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor

Hasan Gafoor, who was Mumbai Police Commissioner during the 26/11 terror attack, died following a cardiac arrest on Monday. He was rushed to Breach Candy Hospital after he complained of chest pain, but passed away before he could be treated. He was 61 and is survived by wife and daughter.

Gafoor had a chequered career spanning 36 years marked with controversies. The Pradhan Committee, which probed the police response to the Lashkar-e-Toiba's assault on the city, had criticised Gafoor for what it said was his poor leadership during the attack. Gafoor had further attracted controversy when he said senior police officers had not responded effectively during the 26/11 crisis. In an interview, he had named a few officers, drawing flak from the police establishment and the state government.

Officers said Gafoor's remarks after 26/11 had caused an uproar in the force, with some officers not taking too well to his comments. "There were voices of dissent after those comments. While no one would speak their mind out about the problem, there were some who did not take well to the comments," said an officer.

However, senior IPS officers point out that the credit for the weapons and equipment upgrade undertaken by the Mumbai Police post-26/11 should largely be given to the 1974 batch IPS officer.

"Gafoor was unparalleled in terms of weapons prowess. His shooting skills were remarkable and spoken of highly in the police fraternity. Junior officers were impressed when they saw him fire a weapon. It was often said that he would never miss a target, no matter what weapon he fired," said a senior IPS officer.

An engineering graduate, Gafoor's knowledge of weapons and his familiarity with them was evident at a display of the Mumbai Police's firing abilities at the Goregaon SRPF ground post 26/11. Guests invited to the display left the event talking about Gafoor's accuracy with modern assault rifles.

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