Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The 26-year-long career of “Encounter Specialist” Rajbir Singh, who joined the Delhi Police as sub-inspector in 1982 and went on to become Assistant Commissioner of Police in a record time, was marked by several controversies.

A native of Rewari in Haryana, the 48-year-old was the only officer in the history of Delhi Police to be twice promoted out-of-rank in quick succession and become an Assistant Commissioner of Police within a span of just 13 years.

“In 1994, he got his first out-of-turn promotion to become Inspector. It was followed by another out-of-turn promotion the next year and he was elevated to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. He was recipient of a President’s Medal for Gallantry and four Police Medals for Gallantry on different occasions in recognition of the courage displayed by him while carrying out his duty and neutralising several gangs of criminals,” said a senior Delhi Police officer on Tuesday recalling Rajbir Singh’s contribution to the Delhi police.

“Z” category security

Rajbir, who has over 50 “encounters” of terrorists and dreaded criminals credited to his name, was also entrusted with investigations into several high-profile cases such as the Red Fort attack and the Parliament attack.

He was one of the few police officers in Delhi to be granted the “Z” Plus category security cover in view of the risk to his life. However, his rise was not without controversies, with the officer coming under a cloud for some of the encounters including the one in which two alleged terrorists were neutralised by his team in the basement of Ansal Plaza in South Delhi in 2002.

He was later caught in another controversy when the Narcotics Bureau recorded conversations between him and a drug peddler about a land deal were leaked to media in 2005 and Rajbir was shifted out of the Special Cell for his alleged links with drug and land mafia.

However, known for wielding enough authority in the police department and his alleged close association with several senior police officers, he made a dramatic comeback two years later and was asked to head the newly-constituted Special Operations Squad in 2007.