5 feared encounter-specialists you should know

An encounter can be described as a situation when a criminal or a gangster is cornered, asked to surrender, but attacks the police and tries to escape, that is when that person is shot dead in retaliatory action.

But critics are sceptical of many of these reported incidents, and further complain that the wide acceptance of the practice has led to incidents of the police staging fake encounters to cover-up the killing of suspects when they are either in custody or are unarmed.

These police personnel involved in these killings became widely known as 'encounter specialists', and several became well known to the public in India.

Here are the five feared "encounter-specialists" you should know:

Pradeep Sharma

Rumour has it that his killing count is a staggering 312. However, the official number is said to be around 113 kills, while Wikipedia says 312. Sharma's name had cropped in the 2003 custodial death of bomb blast accused Khwaja Yunus, was accused of a nexus with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, for allegedly grabbing land in Malad and the November 2006 alleged fake encounter of former gangster Ram Narain Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiyya, a suspected aide of gangster Chhota Rajan. Sharma officially joined the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on September 13th, 2019 and will be contesting in the maharashtra state assembly elections.

Daya Nayak

Nayak’s life inspired movies like ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’ by Shimit Amin and N Chandra's ‘Kagaar’. Another Bollywood portrayal of Nayak’s life was by Sanjay Dutt in the movie ‘Department’. A disproportionate assets case was filed against Nayak in January 2003. In 2006, Nayak was arrested by the anti-corruption bureau after a sessions court issued a non-bailable warrant against him for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. The Supreme Court quashed all the charges against him under the MCOCA in 2010 and he was reinstated only in 2012.

SSP Deepak Kumar

SSP Deepak Kumar has killed 56 criminals in Uttar Pradesh. Deepak Kumar has become a terror for criminals of Uttar Pradesh.

Rajbir Singh

He is the only police officer (Delhi Police) promoted to the rank of ACP in just 13 years of service. He had shot down as many as 50 people and cracked a whip on Delhi’s land mafia. Rajbir was shot dead by a 20-year-old friend who owed him money from a property deal.

Vijay Salaskar

Salaskar was killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was 50. He was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra in 2009. He has killed 75–80 criminals including key members of the Arun Gawli gang.