Kavasji Jamshedji Petigara

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"Khan Bahadur" Kowasji Jamshedji Petigara
Petigara receiving a decoration from the Governor of Bombay Frederick Sykes
Deputy Commissioner of Police
In office
Personal details
Born (1877-11-24)24 November 1877
Died 28 March 1941(1941-03-28) (aged 63)
Citizenship Indian
Nationality Indian
Spouse(s) Avambai Taleyarkhan Petigara
Parents Jamshedji Nusserwanji Petigara
Dhunbhaiji Bastavalla
Residence Bombay (now Mumbai)
Occupation Law enforcement
Known for First Indian Police Commissioner
Religion Zoroastrian
Ethnicity Parsi

"Khan Bahadur" Kavasji Jamshedji Petigara CIE OBE ISO JP IP (Gujarati: કાવસજી જમશેદજી પેટીગરા) (24 November 1877 – 28 March 1941) was the first Indian to become the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Mumbai Police in 1928. He was in charge of the Crime Branch division and was noted for his intelligence network. A decorated officer, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE) and awarded the King's Police Medal. Petigara was also awarded the Imperial Service Order. He was called by the honorific title "Khan Bahadur".[1] He joined the police force as a sub-inspector at the CID (Criminal Investigations Department), and gradually rose through the ranks. In 1928, he was promoted to the Indian Police Service rank, one that very few Indians achieved in those days.

Among his accomplishments was his role in foiling an attempt by Indian freedom activist Manabendra Nath Roy in toppling the government. Despite being a staunch loyalist of the British Indian government, he was respected by Indian freedom fighters. When Mahatma Gandhi applied for a passport in 1931 to attend the second Round Table Conference in London, Petigara was cited as one of his references.[1] He retired from the police force in 1936.

File:Kavasji Jamshedji Petigara statue.jpg
statue of Petigara near Metro Adlabs in South Mumbai.

On 1940-06-08 a statue of him was erected for the "valuable services rendered to the city". The statue is located near Metro Adlabs in South Mumbai. He died on 28 March 1941.[1]

Personal life

Petigara was born on 24 November 1877 to Jamshedji Nusserwanji Petigara and Dhunbhaiji Bastavalla. He did his schooling in Surat in Gujarat, and later Bombay (now Mumbai). He was married to Avambai, the daughter of Jehangirshaw Ardeshir Taleyarkhan. They had one son. He was also the estate manager of Prince Aly Khan at Aga Khan building in Dalal Street in Mumbai. He died on 28 March 1941 after undergoing an operation.


Award Year Rank
Kaisar-i-Hind Medal – 1st class 1923 New Year Honours[2]
Imperial Service Order 1926 King's Birthday Honours[3] Superintendent
OBE 1931 New Year Honours[4] Deputy Commissioner
CIE 1933 King's Birthday Honours[5] Deputy Commissioner (Special Branch)
King's Police Medal 1936 New Year Honours[6] Deputy Commissioner (Special Branch)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Basu, Poulomi (2008-08-22). "Figureheads". Time Out Mumbai. Retrieved 2008-09-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32782. p. 12. 29 December 1922. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33179. p. 4417. 2 July 1926. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  4. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33675. pp. 11–12. 30 December 1930. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33946. pp. 3804–3805. 2 June 1933. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 34238. pp. 17–18. 31 December 1935. Retrieved 2008-09-03.

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