So great was his passion for police force that Deputy Superintendent of Police Aman Thakur, who was killed in an encounter in Kulgam on Sunday, gave up two government jobs to don the uniform. Thakur, who is in his late 30s, first got a job in the social welfare department and was later appointed as lecturer at a government college in view of him having master's degree in Zoology.
He always wanted to be in the police force and he had a passion for wearing the uniform, one of his close friend in the police said. A resident of Gogla district in Doda region, Thakur, a 2011-batch Jammu and Kashmir Police Service officer, is survived by aged parents, wife Sarla Devi and six-year-old son Arya.
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh could not hold back his emotions while recalling his various meetings with the young police officer.
"He was always beaming with enthusiasm and used to lead his team from the front," Singh said.
During his tenure in the militancy-infested Kulgam district of South Kashmir, Thakur has won laurels from many quarters.
"He had been heading the counter-terrorism wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police in district Kulgam from last one-and-a-half years and had played an instrumental role in killing dreaded terrorists in the area," Singh said.
Paying rich tributes Thakur for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty, he said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this critical juncture."
His friends recalled him for his simplicity, plain-speaking and thorough professionalism. "He was known for his determination and valour. In a short period of time, he had earned love, respect and appreciation of the locals in the area for his helpful nature and professionalism," one of the police officers recalled.
He was awarded DGP medal and commendation recently for his outstanding contribution. He was also awarded Sher-e-Kashmir Medal for Gallantry in recognition of his bravery and courage in anti-militancy operations.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over Thakur's demise. He expressed sympathy and solidarity with his family members.
Thakur and an army jawan were killed in the encounter in Kulgam district of south Kashmir on Sunday, officials said. An army major and two soldiers were also injured in the encounter.
Two Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were gunned down by the security forces.