Otherwise known as Supercop for his work in secession-riven Punjab in the 80’s and early 90s, Julio Ribeiro was finishing a tenure as the police commissioner of this city when ADC took form in 1985. Today, touching 80, his form is as impressive, his voice almost as loud as it was when he struck fear into his cops and his junior officers. Not to mention politicians, and even Chhagan Bhujbal, now of the NCP, then an aggressive Shiv Sainik, learned he was not to be taken lightly.

One of the few officers who were successfully able to withstand political pressure in the matter of transfers, at the same time he also handled the tribe deftly. After retirement, he was sent to Albania as Ambassador, and an attempt was made upon his life there by Sikh separatists.

But he survived, and today continues to lead a life even busier than when he was in service, if that is possible. Ambassador between communities, peace-maker, ombudsman, his typical day could swing between presiding over meetings to discuss corruption, how to tackle communism, or where to hold computer classes for women. He is in great demand for citizens’ group meetings, whenever a fearless voice or a blunt opinion needs to be heard or delivered, and when there is a need to face down dictatorial authoritarianism. He tells it like it is – always. A man who thinks he has fulfilled all his dreams, we still salute him.


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