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Why 'encounter' cops are controversy's children

March 31, 2008
Last week's killing of Delhi's encounter specialist Rajbir Singh has highlighted how policemen fighting organised crime get sucked into the very scum they set off to weed out.

Video: Slain encounter cop had links with mafia?

Singh, arguably the most feared cop in the capital with more than 50 encounter killings, is supposed to have lent a huge sum to a longtime friend and construction businessman Vijay Bharadwaj. When the deadline neared, and with no money to pay back, Bharadwaj is said to have pumped three bullets from a gun that another cop had lost during an operation. How it came into his hands remains a mystery.

Though everything about the case smacks of there-is-more-to-this-than-meets-the-eye, the incident only adds to Indian policedom's worst kept secret -- that very few of the Dirty Harry type manage to keep off the real dirt.

Here's a look at some of Mumbai's deadliest cops, their rise and their fall from grace.

Image: Slain encounter specialist Rajbir Singh.
Text: Krishnakumar | Photographs: Yogendra Kumar

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