In the early 90s, organised crime was at its peak in Delhi. Sensational kidnappings, contract killings and gang wars involving crime lords from not only the capital but even other states had become a menace for people even as the police force looked on helplessly.
A young IPS officer, however, changed the rules of the game. Shortly after Deepak Mishra took charge of one of the crime-prone districts, cases were cracked in no time and victims of kidnappings rescued safely. Many cops who later went on to become encounter specialists cut their teeth under this daredevil officer.
On Friday, Mishra, a 1984-batch officer — known as Super Cop in Delhi Police — retired from service. He was currently on deputation in CRPF as special director general.
Mishra was brought in as the chief of law and order in January 2013, a month after the sensational Nirbhaya incident rocked the capital. “That was a critical time for the force as its credibility was at stake. However, Mishra didn’t disappoint and brought down the crime rate,” said an officer.
It was Mishra who had ordered “free registration” of crime, particularly crimes against women, that were to be lodged with no questions asked. During his three-year tenure, the morale of the force was at an all-time high and they again began to retaliate at criminals with their guns — something that had been done away with after the Batla House controversy.
His colleagues said that Mishra was one of the rare officers whose doors were always open for the public. “An old man once literally barged in cursing the force for not acting on a gangster in his area. Mishra asked the guards to let him go and offered him a chair. After listening to him, he directed the area SHO to leave everything and sort out the issue,” recalled an officer.
The officer is also credited with encouraging the use of non-lethal weapons in the force. During the demonstration of a Taser gun, Mishra, who was then 56, rose from among the hesitant cops to test its impact. Post retirement, Mishra, an avid art collector and a music lover, plans to spend time with his family and pursuing his hobbies.