Friday, September 22, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 6, 1445 H
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An Army Man but in a Different Form (3)


The following is my English translation of excerpts from “A Soldier from Oman, Memory’s Nectar” by (ret.) Inspector-General Said bin Rashid Al Kalbani.

After the promotions mentioned in the previous column, the structure of the police force was organised in the following way:

Maj. William Hocket Commander

Capt. Galland Deputy Commander

Capt. Phelix De Silva Chief of Muscat Police

Capt. Lashkran Migration Officer

Capt. Barar Officer in Muscat Police

Captain D’Souza Criminal Investigations Officer

Lieut. Salim Al Sobhi Criminal Investigations Deputy Officer

Lieut. Hasan Al Balushi Civil Status Officer (Reception)

Lieut. Said bin Rashid al Kalbani Training Supervisor at the Muttrah Police Station.

(To put things in perspective, I understand I may be excused to go off at tangent a little and give biographical information about figures that played a leading role in the early history of the Omani police: Nazim Al Farsi, Azizullah, a Pakistani national, and Jawad bin Darwish Al Lwati, Lashkran, Shokat Hossain, William Hockett and Phelix De Silva.

It is believed that Nazim Al Farsi was born in Muscat on December 21, 1912. At first a student in the Saidi School, he went ahead and educated himself. He learnt how to fire guns while working under his father when the latter was the head of the Meerani Fort guard. He then participated in the Muscat-Muttrah (via Riyam) road project in 1929. After his military training in 1930 in Bait al Falaj, he became the police commander.

In the second stage of his life, he taught in the Saidi School, to become later its headmaster, succeeding Sayyad Hilal bin Mohammed Al Busaidy. Famous for his handwriting and knowledge, Al Farsi befriended important figures such as the poet Sayyid Hilal bin Badr Al Busaidy and the writer Abdullah Al Tai. He travelled in 1946 to East Africa, where he worked as a translator in the Zanzibar Court, the Green Island Court and the Department of Endowments and Inheritance.

He came back to Muscat to assume a variety of posts. In August 1969, he was appointed manager of nationality and passports in the interior ministry. On February 15 of the following year, he became a director in the ministry of justice and later an administrative manager in the interior ministry after the whole department of nationality and passport was transferred to the police in 1973.

Azizullah was a police officer in India under the British rule. After retirement, he came to Oman to be appointed by Sultan Said bin Taymur a police inspector with the rank of first lieutenant after the resignation of Al Farsi. Azizullah was the first to place a daily sheet for reports in the then new police station in the Meerani Fort. He moved to Karachi after World War Two broke out, leaving his post to Jawad bin Darwish Al Lawati.

Born in Muttrah in 1919, Jawad Al Lawati learnt the Quran in his home and then joined the Saidi School at the age of ten. He was given lessons on Arabic literature and philosophy by Sayyid Hassan bin Asadullah Al Asfahani, who came to Muttrah from Najaf . After being introduced to Sultan Said by the poet laureate, Hilal Al Busaidy, Al Lawati recited a congratulatory poem to the Sultan on ascending the throne. After a one-year military training course in Bait al Falaj and upon the departure of Azizullah, he took over as the new commander of the police with a salary of 200 Rupee. After his resignation, he went to Karachi to settle there for a long period of time. He came back to Oman in 1981.

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