Khan Bahadur Qurban Ali Khan

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First chief of the Special Police Establishment- SPE

From the archives of The Times of India

Seeks MEA nod to invite kin from Pakistan for function


April 03, 2013

The Central Bureau of Investigation has approached the external affairs ministry with an unusual request. It wants the ministry to facilitate the India visit of the Lahore-based family of a Pakistani who had helped set up the country’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence. The reason: the man in question, Khan Bahadur Qurban Ali Khan, was the first chief of the Special Police Establishment (SPE), the forerunner of CBI. Khan is to be honoured posthumously during the upcoming golden jubilee celebrations of CBI. Khan, who was an officer of the erstwhile Indian Police during British rule, will be among a host of former directors of the country’s premier probe agency who will be honoured at the April 6 event.

CBI came into existence in 1963 and has also renamed one of the blocks in its Ghaziabad Academy after Khan. SPE was started in 1941 by the British government to investigate cases of bribery and corruption in transactions of the War and Supply Department of India, which was set up during World War II. Its headquarters were in Lahore and Khan, who was then superintendent of the war department, was made its chief administrator. After the end of the war, it was felt that a central agency was needed to investigate cases of bribery and corruption by government employees. The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was brought into force in 1946 and Khan headed this department till partition.Khanrose to become the governor of NWFP from 1954 to 1955. Khan is considered to be one of the founding members of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, formed in 1950. Besides gathering external intelligence, ISI was also monitoring uprisings in NWFP where Khan was a top police official.

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