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Boycott of tainted officer’s funeral

New Delhi, March 25: Encounter specialist Rajbir Singh had a lonely final farewell today with Delhi police staying away from the funeral of the cop who was shot dead by a property dealer last night.

The 48-year-old ACP, said to have cracked the Parliament attack case, was killed in Gurgaon with a revolver that property dealer Vijay Bhardwaj had allegedly procured from the officer himself three days ago.

Bhardwaj has called up the police and “confessed”. Agencies quoted him as saying Rajbir had threatened to kill him if he did not pay the cop the money he owed him for property deals they had jointly struck. He said he had wanted to commit suicide but his family stopped him.

The police took a “conscious decision” to bar its top officials from attending the funeral as they found it “disgraceful” that Singh had been gunned down by a “shady” dealer.

“It is disgraceful the way he died,” a senior officer said. “If he had died on the road it would have been palatable, but being killed by a shady property dealer is another thing.”

Only junior officers and police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat were allowed to attend.

At least 50 “kills” (encounter deaths in police parlance) have been linked to Singh.

But, in the true tradition of crime-buster lore, the figure is sometimes put at 56 — possibly drawing a parallel with Ab Tak Chhappan, the Bollywood flick on Mumbai encounter cop Daya Nayak — and Singh had once boasted that he gunned down 100 criminals.

“I had exchanged a Holi SMS with him. He was a good cop. We are not afraid of dying each day, why should we worry about official inquiries?” Nayak said today.

Former Delhi police commissioner T.R. Kakkar said Singh was a “daredevil” who had many admirers in the force.

“But the way he died suggests he was involved in something that was beyond the call of his duty. The personal lives of police officers have to be above board.”

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