Chandigarh: Controversial Punjab police officer Gurmeet Singh Pinky, popularly known as "Pinky cat", died after a heart attack at a private hospital here on Wednesday.
Pinky, in his mid-60s, was admitted to the hospital recently for the treatment of dengue where he suffered a cardiac arrest this morning.
"Cat" is a term coined by the Punjab police during the peak of terrorism in the state when the police used to enrol in it several Khalistan sympathisers as "commandoes" for undercover operations and to hunt militants.
Who is Gurmeet Singh Pinky?
Pinky who was close to militants in the 1980s had turned a police informer and made a commando. He shot to fame after he twice helped the state police nab Khalistani militant Jagtar Singh Hawara and was also given the gallantry award in 1997 for his role in fighting terrorism.
Pinky who rose to the rank of inspector was said to be close to some top police officials including Sumedh Singh Saini during the latter's stint as the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ludhiana.
Convicted of murder & removal from service
However, Pinky was convicted for the murder of one Avtar Singh Gola in Ludhiana in 2001 and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006. He was dismissed from the service subsequently.
Notably, he was released by the state government in 2014 and reinstated as inspector in 2015. However, before the controversial decision could snowball into a major political issue, his reappointment was set aside. Meanwhile, the Central government had also stripped him of his gallantry award in 2015.
Pinky had also been critical of Saini when he became the state director general of police (DGP) and was embroiled in the Kotkapura police firing case in 2015.
According to reports, he had also once claimed that he had evidence of as many as 52 fake encounters by Punjab police during terrorism.