His rise from a sub inspector to a high profile assistant commissioner of police was as sensational as the violent end to his life. Delhi Police's 'encounter specialist' Rajbir Singh was murdered on Monday night ending a career that was as controversial as it was illustrious.
ACP Rajbir Singh, who was allegedly shot dead by a property dealer in the suburb of Gurgaon, had courted many controversies during his otherwise remarkable career that began in 1982 when he entered the Delhi Police as a sub inspector.
Shunted out of the Crime Branch following his alleged links with a drug mafia and touted as a 'property grabber', Rajbir Singh on last year returned as the head of the newly established Special Operation Squad, a special anti-terror cell.
Rajbir, who had over 50 'kills' to his credit, had become the face of counter-terrorism operations in the capital. He was the man instrumental in cracking the attack on parliament in 2001 and the Red Fort in 2000.
Rajbir was the only officer in the police history to be promoted to the rank of ACP in just 13 years.
His first brush with fame came in 1994 with the arrest of notorious criminal Virendera Jat following which he was promoted to the rank of inspector. The next big ticket targets were gangsters Rajbir Ramola and Ranpal Gujjar. He was then posted as ACP (operations) in west district.
"Rajbir Singh was an able police officer of the Delhi Police and had two promotions during his career," ACP Rajan Baghat said.
The word 'encounter' entered the lexicon in the mid-1990s when gangsters from western Uttar Pradesh began making forays into the capital. Rajbir was among the most prominent 'encounter specialists' at the time.
He came into the limelight Nov 3, 2002 when he allegedly killed two 'terrorists' in basement of the Ansal Plaza shopping mall in south Delhi. A man, Hari Krishna, who claimed he saw the deaths labelled it fake. Later, suspicions were raised about the genuineness of the operations supervised by him.
Rajbir's alleged links with a drug trafficker came to the fore after a telephonic conversation between them -- tapped by the narcotics wing -- was leaked to the media. An inquiry headed by the joint commissioner of police (Vigilance) was ordered.
The Delhi High Court also issued notices to him and other officers on charges that he and his colleagues manhandled some people in west Delhi's Kirti Nagar in connection with a property dispute.
Despite the many controversies, Rajbir was not shifted out of the Special Cell.
But circumstances, and maybe one of the many controversies that dogged him, caught up with him Monday night.