Controversial Punjab Police 'cat'-turned-dismissed cop Gurmeet Singh Pinky, a life-term convict in a murder case who was released prematurely from jail last year, was re-appointed as police inspector on May 16, it is learnt.
However, much before this contentious decision could snowball into a major political controversy, the re-appointment of Pinky, who had also joined duty reportedly at Fatehgarh Sahib, was set aside on May 20 after the matter was brought to the notice of police high-ups at Chandigarh, top police sources said.
Known for enjoying the patronage of Punjab director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini, Pinky was reinstated on an order allegedly issued by deputy inspector general (DIG) Gurinder Singh Dhillon. The DIG was not available for comments.
In what a top police officer described as "a patently illegal and highly mala fide order," the DIG wrote a 23-page order to justify his decision of reinstating Pinky.
Such is his clout even in political circles that the Punjab government, through a June 2014 order, had released him prematurely from the Nabha jail even before the completion of 10 years' actual sentence, triggering a political storm across the state.
Sources say inspector general (IG, zonal) Lok Nath Angra revoked the re-appointment of Pinky and sent the report to the Punjab Police headquarters here, saying that the decision taken by DIG Dhillon was mala fide and perverse.
Immediately, another IG-rank officer here prepared the report on the basis of Angra's dossier and the transfer order of DIG Dhillon was issued on Wednesday. The DIG relinquished his charge in the evening.
"The DIG has been attached with the police headquarters here and necessary steps are afoot to take disciplinary action against him for having issued unilaterally an illegal order," a police source said.
No stranger to controversies, Pinky had in January 2001 gunned down a youth, the only son of his parents, over a petty issue.
He was convicted in the murder case and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, he was released by the state government secretly on May 24, 2014. The issue of his premature release had reached the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Gurmeet Singh alias Pinky, a resident of Mohali, had murdered Avtar Singh in 2001 over an altercation. He was reportedly close to many terrorists in Punjab. In the early 1990s, he had been made a Punjab Police 'cat' (commando), helping the police fight terrorism. He later rose to the post of inspector, reportedly because of his proximity to some high-ups.