Deepak Masla, Ahmedabad: Former cop, MM Jhala, who earned the name ‘Zanjeerwala Jhala’ in Gujarat passed away at the age of 90, leaving behind tales of his daredevilry. His nickname was a play on the Amitabh Bachchan starrer movie Zanjeer, which is the story of a non-nonsense cop who does not let anything stop him from performing his duty. In a career spanning decades, Jhala was credited with ending the gangwar in Porbandar as well as successfully handling several critical assignments in Ahmedabad.
Jhala, entered the police force as a sub-inspector in 1956 after finishing his education from the Shyamaldas College in Bhavnagar in Saurashtra. His first posting was in Vadodara and he had also spent some time with the Mumbai Anti Corruption Bureau. In 1968 he was the all India topper in the police exams held at the Detective training school.
Jhala earned the nickname Zanjeerwala Jhala during his 5 year stint in Ahmedabad where he effectively handled the Rathyatra, the communal violence and the student agitation. He was posted in Porbandar in 1978 with the specific order to bring under control the gang wars that had become the norm there. A few years into service, Jhala managed to bring peace back in Porbandar as several gangsters tucked tail to avoid a confrontation with him.
As DSP in Jamnagar in the 1980s, Jhala had also fought off and shot a man-eater leopard sealing his reputation as a brave officer. It is believed that the Raj Babbar starrer Agnikaal was inspired by the life of Jhala.