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Tragic scenes at funeral of Sydney cop Tanzeel Iftikhar Bashir found dead at the Royal National Park

There were no formal eulogies for Constable Tanzeel Bashir but everyone who gathered for his funeral on Tuesday knew what the community had lost.

Constable Bashir, who took his own life last weekend, was farewelled with Islamic rites at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney’s south-west in a service attended by family, friends and colleagues.

The 23-year-old was remembered as a loving son and brother and widely respected police officer – who chose to go into the service to ‘help people’ following the tragic death of a friend’s girlfriend.

Constable Berkay Tustas graduated from the New South Wales Police Academy with Constable Bashir in 2019 and could not fathom his friend was gone.

‘He wouldn’t hurt a fly,’ Constable Tustas said outside the mosque. ‘But he hurt himself.’

Constable Bashir, 23, was found dead in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, about 12.40am on Saturday.

Police had commenced a search about 10.30pm on Friday after concerns were raised for the off-duty Bankstown Police Area Command officer’s welfare.

There were no formal eulogies for Constable Tanzeel Bashir but everyone who gathered for his funeral on Tuesday knew what the community had lost. Constable Berkay Tustas (above) was inconsolable at the service.  He had graduated from the NSW Police Academy with Constable Bashir in 2019

Constable Bashir, who took his own life last weekend, was farewelled with Islamic rites at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney's south-west in a service attended by family, friends and colleagues. Constables are pictured saluting as the coffin was carried out

Constable Bashir, who took his own life last weekend, was farewelled with Islamic rites at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney’s south-west in a service attended by family, friends and colleagues. Constables are pictured saluting as the coffin was carried out

Constable Tanzeel Bashir's mother Rani was comforted by her son's grief-stricken colleagues at the funeral and burial

Constable Tanzeel Bashir's heartbroken mother Rani Iftikhar was embraced by grief-stricken mourners

Constable Tanzeel Bashir’s mother Rani (left and right) was comforted by her son’s grief-stricken colleagues at the funeral and burial 

A large contingent of shocked police officers gathered at Narellan Cemetery to salute their late colleague. The 23-year-old was remembered as a loving son and brother and widely respected police officer

A large contingent of shocked police officers gathered at Narellan Cemetery to salute their late colleague. The 23-year-old was remembered as a loving son and brother and widely respected police officer

Constable Bashir's body was washed, covered in a shroud and placed in a coffin before being carried up the steep steps of the mosque

Constable Bashir’s body was washed, covered in a shroud and placed in a coffin before being carried up the steep steps of the mosque

Police officers consoled and comforted each other alongside other mourners at the funeral of Constable Tanzeel Bashir

Police officers consoled and comforted each other alongside other mourners at the funeral of Constable Tanzeel Bashir

Constable Charlene Challita was among those hardest hit by her colleague’s death. ‘He was my best mate,’ she said after the service. 

One friend who preferred not to be named said he had grown up with Constable Bashir in the Belmore-Lakemba area and had last seen him three weeks ago.

‘I’m simply shocked,’ he said. ‘We never saw it coming.

‘He was kind-hearted, down-to-earth and just a charming personality.’

Canterbury Bankstown deputy mayor Bilal El-Hayek said the local community was mourning a fine young policeman and his family was trying to understand why he was gone.

Cousin Momin Ali said his cousin had loved being a police officer from the start. 'Tanzeel was very dedicated to his job,' he said. 'He wore his uniform with a lot of pride.' Constable Bashir is pictured in uniform

Cousin Momin Ali said his cousin had loved being a police officer from the start. ‘Tanzeel was very dedicated to his job,’ he said. ‘He wore his uniform with a lot of pride.’ Constable Bashir is pictured in uniform

Iftikhar Bashir (right) was consoled by his son's police colleagues who formed a line to offer their condolences at Narellan Cemetery

Iftikhar Bashir (right) was consoled by his son’s police colleagues who formed a line to offer their condolences at Narellan Cemetery

‘He was a loving son and brother and proud officer, gone too soon,’ Mr El-Hayek said.

‘It’s a timely reminder of the human face of the men and women who serve our community.’

On Tuesday morning Constable Bashir’s body was washed, covered in a shroud and placed in a coffin before being carried up the steep steps of the mosque.

Constable Tustas, who was rostered on duty, waited outside while prayers were said for his dead friend. He was inconsolable but workmates tried to offer comfort.

‘I had to make my way here,’ he said. ‘I came to pay my respects to him because I owe him that much.

‘Tanzeel had the purest heart of all. Purer than crystal. There’s no words. I can’t register anything. I just can’t believe it.’

Canterbury Bankstown deputy mayor Bilal El-Hayek said the local community was mourning a fine young policeman and his family was trying to understand why he was gone

Canterbury Bankstown deputy mayor Bilal El-Hayek said the local community was mourning a fine young policeman and his family was trying to understand why he was gone

The 23-year-old was remembered as a widely respected police officer by shattered colleagues. Constable Bashir had been a cop just three years

The 23-year-old was remembered as a widely respected police officer by shattered colleagues. Constable Bashir had been a cop just three years

Constable Tustas spoke of a young man who loved his cricket, football and animals – often sending him unsolicited pictures of his cats.

‘The way Tanzeel was if you needed anything done at the academy or in general he wouldn’t even ask why,’ he’d just do it,’ Constable Tustas said. ‘He was always there for me.’

‘I feel so sorry for the family. If I’m feeling like this, how do they cope? May he rest in peace. I loved the kid.’

Momin Ali said the suicide of a friend’s girlfriend several years ago had been part of the reason his cousin had chosen to join the police force.

‘He just felt he wanted to help people,’ Mr Ali said. ‘To reassure people that there is help out there for those who need it. It was his dream to help people.’

Colleagues unable to attend the funeral later paid their respects at Narellan  Cemetery where they watched his burial

Colleagues unable to attend the funeral later paid their respects at Narellan  Cemetery where they watched his burial 

A line of mourners formed to greet Constable Bashir's father Iftikhar to express their condolences with hugs and handshakes

A line of mourners formed to greet Constable Bashir’s father Iftikhar to express their condolences with hugs and handshakes

Mr Ali said his cousin had loved being a police officer from the start.

‘Tanzeel was very dedicated to his job,’ he said. ‘He wore his uniform with a lot of pride.

‘He never hurt anyone. All he wanted to do was to put smiles on people’s faces. It was just the type of person he was.’

As for what had driven his cousin to despair, Mr Ali had no idea.

‘I guess everyone goes through their own battles,’ he said. ‘He seemed really happy.

‘He’d seen some things but every time when I asked him how he was going he’d say “I love the job”.’

Constable Berkay Tustas (above) said his friend and fellow 2019 graduate loved his cricket, football and animals. 'Tanzeel had the purest heart of all. Purer than crystal. There's no words. I can't register anything. I just can't believe it'

Constable Berkay Tustas (above) said his friend and fellow 2019 graduate loved his cricket, football and animals. ‘Tanzeel had the purest heart of all. Purer than crystal. There’s no words. I can’t register anything. I just can’t believe it’

Momin Ali (pictured being hugged by an officer) said his cousin loved being in the police force. 'He just felt he wanted to help people,' Mr Ali said. 'To reassure people that there is help out there for those who need it. It was his dream to help people'

Momin Ali (pictured being hugged by an officer) said his cousin loved being in the police force. ‘He just felt he wanted to help people,’ Mr Ali said. ‘To reassure people that there is help out there for those who need it. It was his dream to help people’

One of Constable Bashir’s relatives had appealed on Facebook for family and friends to attend his funeral and hundreds came to the service.

‘It is with a heavy heart I announce our beloved Tanzeel Iftikhar Bashir, 23 years old, a loving son, brother and friend has returned to his Lord,’ the relative wrote.

‘Please spread the word so that we can have as many people attend my cousin’s janazah as possible.’

Loved ones used social media to remember Constable Bashir, who had two younger sisters, as a ‘loving son, brother and friend’.

‘Rest in peace to an absolute legend,’ one said. Others remembered a ‘fun guy’ and ‘great man’.

A funeral notice asked Allah to bestow comfort upon Constable Bashir’s family and loved ones. 

‘O Allah, forgive him and have mercy on him and grant him peace and pardon him,’ the notice stated. 

‘Receive him with honour and make his place of entry spacious. Admit him into Paradise and protect him from the torment of the grave and the torment of the Fire.’ 

Constable Tustas (right, near red car) stood alone on the road and raised one last salute as Constable Tanzeel Bashir's hearse passed by

Constable Tustas (right, near red car) stood alone on the road and raised one last salute as Constable Tanzeel Bashir’s hearse passed by

One of Constable Bashir's relatives had appealed on Facebook for family and friends to attend his funeral and hundreds came to the service

One of Constable Bashir’s relatives had appealed on Facebook for family and friends to attend his funeral and hundreds came to the service

Constable Tustas was one of four constables and a dozen commissioned officers to form a guard of honour as his friend’s casket was carried back down the mosque’s steps to a waiting hearse.

Three police motorcyclists led the 45km cortege to Narellan Cemetery for the burial. 

As the hearse passed Constable Tustas he stood alone on the road and raised one last salute.

Further prayers were held at the cemetery where scores of uniformed police who had not been at the mosque paid their last respects.

A line of mourners formed to greet Constable Bashir’s father Iftikhar and Mr Ali and pay their condolences with hugs and handshakes. 

Support services have been offered to Constable Bashir’s family, colleagues and the entire NSW Police force.

Constable Charlene Challita (centre) was among those hardest hit by her colleague's death. 'He was my best mate,' she said

Constable Charlene Challita (centre) was among those hardest hit by her colleague’s death. ‘He was my best mate,’ she said 

A critical incident investigation was launched by detectives from the Homicide Squad who will prepare a report for the Coroner.

The investigation will be reviewed by the Professional Standards Command with independent oversight by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC).

Last month police gathered to farewell Detective Sergeant Adam Child, a 46-year-old father-of-two and long-serving member of the Homicide Squad.

Detective Sergeant Child was found dead from a gunshot wound at Ermington police station on August 1. He was remembered as ‘one of the finest humans and detectives.

If you or anyone you know needs help or confidential support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 

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