Bhupendra, a local criminal, and Vijay Singh, an assistant sub-inspector, may not have had much in common. Vijay, who was posted to Mianwali police station three months ago, had to safeguard Bhupendra's life as his personal security officer. Bhupendra could never leave his house without his PSO, and would spend a good part of the day inside his house.
The death of both the men, however, united their families in grief. Vijay's family cursed that they never got to spend time with him, while Bhupendra's family swore to exact revenge on his killers.
"Vijay would go out at odd hours. He would never eat at the right time, he rarely used to sleep. We wanted him to spend time with him, but he would be out in the streets protecting the lives of criminals," said Sunil, Vijay's wife.
After Vijay was promoted in January, his family rarely got to see him as he left behind his two sons-Ravi and Chandresh to look after their mother.
Chandresh was infuriated that his father died at the hands of criminals. "Policemen work day and night protecting criminals, and they kill the officers just like that," he said.
Bhupendra's family was also distraught, but managed to regain their composure. Some of his associates, who turned up at the funeral, also swore to exact revenge. "We will get the man who did this," said Suri, Bhupendra's associate.
Phool Singh, Bhupendra's father, lamented the loss of his second son. "They killed Sudhir (the first son) a few years ago, and now they have killed Bhupendra. I just have one son left now," Phool Singh said.
The family was targeted ever since Bhupendra had married his associate Sonu Dariyapur's sister Rajrani in 2006. Right after their marriage, they were targeted by gunmen near Punjabi Bagh flyover. Later in 2008, Sonu's associates killed his brother Sudhir.
Shaken by Sudhir's death, Bhupendra and Rajrani deposed against Sonu in court, which led to the arrest of 10 of his associates. Sonu was himself arrested in 2009, but got out on bail. Since the high profile case against Sonu, police had deputed four PSOs to look after Bhupendra. However, his security was reportedly downgraded to two PSOs.
"The police should have deputed men to look after him. They would arbitrarily withdraw his security. A few days ago, he told me that he was paranoid that he would be killed, and we had to approach the court to give him security," said advocate Vishal Chopra.
ASI Vijay's family had also criticised the Delhi Police for not makingadequate arrangements for his safety. "His superiors did not even think of giving him a bullet-proof vest and an additional PCR van as support," said Sunil.