Dismissed Punjab policeman Gurmeet Singh Pinky, a murder convict released prematurely from jail last year, has sparked a fresh controversy by being spotted in a Kharar eating joint with jailed criminal Lawrence Bishnoi.
Pinky's reappointment as police inspector on May 16 had boiled into a political storm. He had joined duty in Fatehgarh Sahib when the reinstatement was set aside on May 20 after higher officers in Chandigarh took note of the matter. The eating joint's surveillance cameras captured Bishnoi, a student leader, touching Pinky's feet, which raises questions about the integrity of the cops who had brought him from the Kapurthala jail for a court hearing in Chandigarh.
The video footage shows that about 2pm on July 2, Pinky and his gunman came to the joint and sat with Bishnoi and his police escorts for food. Jalandhar deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Rajinder Singh said sub-inspector Bhupinder Singh and constables Jatinder Kumar and Shiv Kumar, who had taken Bishnoi to Chandigarh, had been suspended for taking a prisoner into a public restaurant. "We have marked a departmental inquiry against them," he said.
What Pinky says
Denying that he met Bishnoi, Pinky said sub-inspector Bhupinder Singh, an old colleague, had called him to the restaurant. "I know Bhupinder Singh from my days as ASI (assistant sub-inspector) in the CIA (crime investigation agency), Jalandhar, and he had gone there to meet him," he said.
Who is Pinky
Gurmeet Singh Pinky was close to many terrorists in the days of militancy in Punjab; and in the early 1990s, Punjab Police drafted him into their secret "Cat" squad to fight terrorism.
He rose to become inspector, reportedly because of his proximity to some higher officers.
In 2001, he murdered a man named Avtar Singh over an altercation, was convicted.
He is based in SAS Nagar
Who is Lawrence Bishnoi
A former SOPU (Student Organisation of Panjab University) leader who graduated from student clashes in Chandigarh to carjacking and extortion in his hometown, Ferozepur
Aged 25; former student of DAV College, Sector 10; son of a farmer
Said to be close to gangster Amandeep "Happy Deora", a wanted dacoit
Had escaped police custody while being produced in an SAS Nagar court in January, was rearrested in March.