11 May, 2021

Confessions Of A Killer Cop

A former ‘encounter specialist’ reveals in chilling detail how the Punjab Police eliminated hundreds in staged killings at the height of Sikh militancy in the ’80s and ’90s. These shocking revelations come at a time when Punjab is in turmoil again.

Confessions Of A Killer Cop

Recruited as a constable in the Punjab Police in 1987, Gurmeet Singh Pinky rose steadily through the ranks in the next few years, his speciality being encounter killings. It wasn’t an encounter killing, however, that saw him getting a life sentence for murder in 2001, but the random shooting down of one Avtar Singh Gola. He was quietly released last year and reinstated in service this May, but the order was overturned. Now contesting the reversal in court, Pinky has, in a taped confession, spilled the beans on his years with the Punjab Police. Here is his chilling description of how fake encounters were routinely used by Punjab Police units to quell militancy and the individual cases he was involved in.


In March 1986, with militancy spiralling out of control in Punjab, Julio Rib­eiro, a Maharashtra-cadre IPS officer, was brought in as the Director General of Police. To take the militants head-on, he framed the “bullet for bullet” policy. Things spun further out of control, and President’s rule...

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