From Alam Sena to SAD Seva

July 08, 2021 04:42 PM

Ajay Bhardwaj

Mohammad Izhar Alam, who passed away at 73, this week, was one of the most feared and controversial names in the Punjab Police force particularly the days when  Julio Francis Ribeiro was the Punjab DGP.

It was Punjab Police's infancy days in terms of training and mindset to combat militancy in the  post-1984 times. Alam was SSP at Jalandhar and Amritsar when the term, "Alam Sena" came into currency.

Taking a cue from the bullet-for-bullet strategy of Rebeiro, Alam had improvised his own force which was known as "Alam Sena" which penetrated the terrorist groups and helped police zero in on many of them.

"It was not an official term. It was a term given by the affected parties", said former Punjab DGP SS Virk, who was his close compatriot.

Indeed, it became a tactical word for the Punjab police to follow in word and spirit many years down the line till the terrorism was decimated.

Coming from Bihar,  the 1974-batch IPS officer, Alam, who superannuated in 2009, sprung a bigger surprise when he joined the Parkash Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal and in due course was appointed as chairman of Punjab Waqf Board. More quirkily, so to say, he was named the party candidate for the Malerkotla Assembly seat in 2012. Under pressure from the radical forces, Badal revised his decision and instead fielded his wife Farzana as the SAD nominee and she did win the election against Razia Sultana, wife of another IPS officer, Mohammad Mustafa.

It has indeed been an interesting journey of Alam as an IPS officer traversing the bullet-ridden and ballot-ridden times.

May his soul rest in peace !

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