Dedicated officer, should have known where to draw line with his obedience, say batchmates.
Riyazudding Kazi’s dogged approach and dour demeanour in cracking cases assigned to him had earned him the sobriquet “Surjan Singh Shekhawat”, the police inspector played by Aamir Khan in the crime thriller Talaash.
Like the movie, Kazi’s stint in Mumbai Police was also taut, twisting and thrilling. However, Kazi was unlike the rebellious character that Khan played, and his deferential traits may be what got him into trouble, his batchmates said.
“He would follow every instruction laid down by his supervisory officer and he did not know where to stop,” said one of his former colleagues.
Kazi joined the Mumbai police department in 2011. His first posting was at Versova police station, where during his probation he served as a station house officer. Soon after his probation, he was appointed as a detection officer at the same police station.
Born on April 22, 1978, Kazi grew up in Mumbai. He studied in a convent school and during his training with the Maharashtra police he stayed in police quarters at VP road in Girgaon, after which he shifted with his family to the police quarters in Jogeshwari.
In 2014, Kazi was promoted to assistant police inspector rank and subsequently transferred to the special Anti-Chain-Snatching Squad of the Mumbai crime branch. He served there for three years.
When the then joint commissioner of police Sanjay Saxena announced in 2017 that the services of the Anti-Chain-Snatching Squad and Anti-Robbery and Dacoity Squad would be discontinued, Kazi was transferred to the Crime Intelligence Unit, where he worked under police inspector Vinay Ghorpade.
In 2020, Ghorpade was transferred out, and Sachin Waze was made in-charge of the unit. Along with Waze, Kazi investigated high-profile cases like the TRP manipulation case, Instagram fake followers case, Dilip Chabria matter and Hrithik Roshan’s fake email case. They also investigated the Antilia bomb scare matter.
“The day Waze was appointed as his senior, his bad days started,” said his batchmate. “In his 10-year career as a police officer, Kazi was never involved in any controversy.”
“I have never heard of him getting any bad remarks or punishment from any of his supervisors because he is very efficient in his work,” added another batchmate.
In his early days in the CIU, Kazi’s dedication towards work and curiosity to learn earned him the name of Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan’s character in Talaash). “Till the time I worked with him in the CIU, looking at his dedication we would call him Shekhawat, because Khan’s character in the movie is also of a dedicated officer and he was equally involved in whatever he did,” said one of his former colleagues in the CIU.
Another batchmate said that he always went by the book. “If only Kazi knew where to draw a line with his obedience, he would not have been arrested today,” said another officer, adding that his sincerity towards the work made him a special officer.