Monday, July 1, 2013

The day my Grandfather was awarded King's Police Medal

King's Police Medal

When I was a small child, I was told by my father that his father, my grandfather, earned the prestigious King's Police Medal, KPM, during his service as a police officer in 1920. Obviously I asked him why was he awarded that honour and where was the medal? Though my father did explain how, but as for where, he said that the medal had been lost by his elder brother, my Taya.

So that was the end of the KPM. But I never knew through the powerful media of blogging, one day I would get to know more about my grand father's KPM and would actually see the citation written for the award of the KPM.

Generations: Top Left to Right: Father (Mohkam Din) - Son (Aziz ud Din Ahmad, KPM) - Grandson (Abdul Hameed Bhatti, PPM)
Centre Left to Right: Great Grandsons Gul Hameed Bhatti - Zaffar , Kamal, Jalal, Jamal Hameed Bhattis
Bottom Left to Right: Great Grandson (Jalal Hameed Bhatti) - Great-great grandsons (Waqaace and Wahaab Jalal Bhattis) 

On 16th October 2009, I wrote a post 'Generations' in which I explained my family tree tracing back to many centuries. And there when I arrived at my grandfather, I wrote: 
My grandfather became city magistrate of Amritsar and was awarded with the prestigious King’s Police Medal in 1920s. It was a great loss that his hard earned medal was lost upon partition when my father and all his brothers migrated to Pakistan – and along with that we lost the graves of my ancestors in Patti, a small village then somewhere near Amritsar. And that brought a divide between my father’s ancestors and us with our father being the linchpin.
While writing the post I had no idea what a surprise was waiting for me. Two years later on March 13, 2011, I received a message on Facebook by one Sadeev Gill from India and he wrote:
Hi my father read your blog Jaho Jalal and was impressed to know that your ancestors were decorated police officers. My father is writing a book on decorated police officers Punjab police (India & Pakistan . I appreciate it if you could send me your email address (which I would pass on to my father). Thanks - Sadeev
Obviously, this was a great news for me that someone was writing about the police officers of the British India times and somehow I could know more about my grandfather's KPM. So I gave Sadeev my e-mail address and waited.

And then one day I received an email from Sadeev's father:
Dear  Jalal  Sahib,  Salaam.    My  name  is  R. S. Gill  and  i  am  a  retired  police  officer  from  Punjab  Police ( India ).   I  am  writing  a  book  on  decorated  police  officers  of  Punjab  Police  from  1860  to  2010.  This  will  also  cover  the  period  of  united  Punjab,  when  India  and  Pakistan  were  one  country ( 1860 - 1947 ).   I  was  reading  your  highly  interesting  blog  one  day,  when  i  came  across  your  family  background.   I  was  impressed  to  know  that  both  your  respected  father  and  grand  father  were  highly  decorated  police  officers,  and  both  of  them  of  them  performed  their  duties  with  the  highest  dedication  and  honesty.  I  would  like  to  include  your  grand  father's  biodata  and  photograph  in  my  book,  since  he  served  in  united  Punjab.  Kindly  send  me  his  photograph ( preferably  in  uniform )  and  brief  biodata,  which  should  include : - (1) Full  Name  (2) Date  of  Birth  (3)  Date  of  Joining  Punjab  Police  (4)  Education  (5)  Award / Decoration  Received  (6)  Date  of  Receiving  Award / Decoration  (7)  Rank at  time  of  Award / Decoration  (8)  Date  of  Retiring  from  Police  (9)  Rank  at  time  of  Retiring.  If  you  do  not  have  the  full  information,  please  send  what  ever  you  have.  In  case  your  father  also  served  in  united  Punjab,  please  send  his  photo  and  biodata  too.  With  regards,  yours  sincerely,  R. S. Gill.
And thus began a series of mail exchange between me and Gill Sahib, who was to update me on everything that he could lay hands on that concerned my grandfather.

In one of his mails, he wrote:
My  dear  Mr.  Bhatti,   attached  along  with  this  letter  is  the  preceding  page  of  the  London  Gazette  of  1st  January  1920  which  mentions  the  award  of  the  King's  Police  Medal  to  your  respected  grandfather  and  others  on  that  date.   You  don't  have  to  thank  me.   Your  thoughts  and  photographs  are  so  noble  and  beautiful ,  that  it's  a  pleasure  to  do  something  for  you .   With  regards ,   R.S.Gill. 
Then in one of his e-mails, he sent me the text of the citation for the award of KPM to my grandfather:

My Grandfather: Aziz ud Din Ahmad, KPM
On the 12th April 1919, information having been received that a mob was collecting to loot the Treasury at Tarn Taran, Inspector Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad first made preparations for the defence of the Treasury which contained over 3 lakhs. He then went with a small party of Police and dispersed the mob arresting two men. 
Later on he investigated the case with great intelligence and energy and put up 97 men for trial, of whom 82 were convicted. His courage and initiative have been highly commended by Mr. Rudkin, O.B.E., I.C.S., District Magistrate, Amritsar, who tried the case, Mr. Rudkin remarked in his judgment “that the accused did not succeed in their object was due almost solely to the courage and initiative shown by Inspector Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad. If he had not had the courage and decision to move out against them, I think there is every likelihood that the small Police force would have overwhelmed. His conduct in warding off the attack and in the subsequent investigation is worthy of very high praise indeed, and I think that his services deserve tangible recognition by the authorities. The Inspector’s conduct deserves the more credit in that he had to act in defence of the Treasury without any assistance from the Magistrate on the spot, the Tahsildar. 
A few days later, he sent me the copy of the Punjab Gazette dated January 10, 1920. The Gazette showed the citation at serial 26 which is as under:

The priceless copy of Citation that earned my grand father the prestigious KPM
So this closed the loop for me of something that has been on my mind since my childhood. I never knew then that one day the internet would be born, followed by blogging and social media networks like the Facebook which will bring to me a treasure of life time.

I am truly grateful to R.S.Gill for having dug out something about my grand father, his dedication to duty, foresight and courage in discharge of his duty that saved the state the Taran Taran treasury and its Rs. 300,000, which in 1920 was a huge amount of the day.

My grandfather was later promoted to Deputy SP, now a days called DSP, a post that he held till 1926. From 1926-1936, he switched over to the Punjab Civil Service (PCS) and it was here that became the honorary magistrate of Amritsar in some point tin time. My grand father died in 1936 and was buried in his ancestral graveyard in Patti, a town near Amritsar. My great great grand father, Mohkam Din, who was a Mukhtiarkar (like our Tahsildar) is also buried in the same graveyard. 

My Father Abdul Hameed Bhatti, Superintendent of Police(R), PPM

My father also followed the footsteps of his father and joined Punjab Police as direct sub-inspector. He was instrumental in the formation of Intelligence Bureau (IB) after the formation of Pakistan and worked very closely with its first chief A.B. Awan. Later he was tasked to raise Interpol in Pakistan which he did so meticulously that he remained its head for twelve long years. He represented Pakistan Interpol in the ICPOA conference held in Paris in 1965. He was promoted to the rank of superintendent of police and was appointed additional SP of Rawalpindi, from where he retired in 1972.  For his meritorious services, he was awarded the prestigious President's Police Medal.

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Unknown said...

So as they say 'the communication' never fails you; and that is exactly what happened in this case. Good - that now you know the details and have the updated record with.........which off-course wouldn't have been possible without the sincere and noble assistance of Mr. R S Gill........Kudos to him......and you can ask him for yet another favor to help you visit the 'RESTING PLACES' of your ancestors. GOOD LUCK AND KEEP WRITING. Akhtar N Janjua

Jalal HB said...

Thank you AKN for these valuable comments - yes I have been lucky that a blog post brought me the treasure of my life. I have already asked Mr Gill about the graves of my grandfather and great grandfather. May be someday he gives me the good news too.