His years of painstaking efforts at tailing criminals, building up a network of informers and his single-minded dedication have already won him laurels at work, and now Delhi Police sub-inspector Joginder Singh is aiming for the record books for netting the highest number of proclaimed offenders in the country.
Flipping the pages of a voluminous record book containing reports of his own work - catching a record 1,400 proclaimed offenders, Singh told IANS, "On an average every month I capture at least 15 proclaimed offenders", as if it is a cake walk for him.
Delhi Police are planning to send Singh's name to the Limca Books of Records, the Indian version of Guinness.
Running his hand over his partially balding head, Singh, who has put in 30 years in service, says: "I am not doing it all for a record. This work gives me immense joy and satisfaction. I feel overwhelmed when victims' families show their relief after I catch a proclaimed offender."
Hailing from Haryana, Singh, 52, joined Delhi Police as a constable in 1978. He soon started targeting criminals who had been declared proclaimed offenders - those who either jump bail or are absconding from the day they commit crime - by court.
He wants his name to be included in the Limca Books of Records. He has already got three out-of-turn promotions - as head constable in 1990, then assistant sub-inspector in 1995 and sub-inspector in 2000 - by fulfilling the criterion needed - of arresting more than 75 proclaimed offenders, including 25 involved in heinous crimes, in a year.
According to rules, police personnel can win out-of-turn promotions only thrice during the career. But Singh's zest and spirit in capturing law offenders is undampened.
"Though promotions are always encouraging for a police personnel and I have earned all the three, I still want to capture those people who should be ideally behind bars," Singh told IANS during an interview in a shabby room in the Paschim Vihar police station.
Singh said his wish is to catch the maximum number of proclaimed offenders before he retires. He says he has caught fugitives from almost every part of the country.
According to an estimate there are over 10,000 declared proclaimed offenders in the country.
But catching them doesn't come easy. It requires immense patience, building up a solid network of informers and moles, and also interest in the work.
"Most of the policemen do not want to get involved in the job after some time. Maybe because it is not a money making job and requires a lot of hard work," Singh admitted.
But very few people know about his record achievement and work.
"Maybe because Singh was never projected by the TV news channels or newspapers, who were busy chasing trigger-happy cops who were later suspended or their services terminated," said a colleague on condition of anonymity.
"The media doesn't highlight the real policemen who do the hard work on the ground," the colleague added.
Speaking about his work, Singh said there had been times when he had tailed proclaimed offenders for six months before making an arrest.
"It is like a Tom and Jerry chase and you are always on the prowl. I have arrested a few proclaimed offenders who had been captured by me earlier. It all depends on your informers and networking," he said.
"The most important thing that counts is your presence of mind and asking an informer the right questions. I have learnt all these trade tricks from my first station house officer Shivdutt Sharma, who has retired. He also got out-of-turn promotions, and I owe so much to him," he added.
Singh visits his wife in Bahadurgarh, Haryana, every fortnight, and stays in the police barrack of the Paschim Vihar police station. "Many times I have had to cut short my home stay or had to return from the way after getting tipped on a proclaimed offender by an informer."
Singh has got Rs.200,000 to Rs.300,000 reward money for catching such criminals. "I have hardly made anything out of it. Most of the money has been distributed among the informers or spent on other things."
Recalling an incident, Singh said once he had to purchase a mobile phone for a night watchman in Rohini to keep track of an absconder. "Sometimes we take informers to other states at our own expense to make an arrest."
Acknowledging his sincere and dedicated work, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Delhi) Sharad Agarwal, said: "The entire Delhi Police is proud of him and his commendable work. He has set an example before his colleagues and subordinates."
"I am very pleased that one person trained by him in capturing declared runaways has got out-of-turn promotion. He is passing his expertise to other personnel as well," Agarwal added.