India's Dirty Harry, the zero tolerance Bombay policeman who dispenses justice from the barrel of a gun, has killed 87 suspects and shows no signs of stopping.
While Inspector Pradeep Sharma's methods are questioned by human rights groups, he remains unrepentant. In fact he insists in language that might have come straight out of a Clint Eastwood movie that he acts in self-defense.
"These criminals are filth. My mission is to cleanse the city of this filth and it's working," he said. "If they're armed and resist arrest, then I have to shoot in self-defense.
"Why this concern for them? If they're walking about with AK-47s, you can be sure they're not going to the temple or going shopping."
Sharma's campaign began 13 years ago after he joined Bombay's newly formed Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU). Now at 41, he is officially credited as the policeman with the most "kills" in India.
He is known to journalists as "the terminator." He receives letters of support every day that far outnumber the complaints about the so-called "encounters" in which the suspects die.
"I'm just a God-fearing man doing my job, which is eliminating crime in this city, not terminating people," said Sharma, who denies his "en- counters" are stage-managed.
His critics accuse him of taking suspects to a deserted place in the early hours, pushing them out of a police jeep, ordering them to run and then shooting them.
"Look, out of the 600 or so criminals I have arrested, only 87 were killed," he said. "My aim is to arrest criminals and terrorists alive because that is the only way to get information and to break their networks."
Sharma and his unit have gained such a reputation that they are featured in a series of new Bollywood movies. His superiors are reveling in the glory and are fully backing him. "This talk of excesses or fake encounters is baseless," said Satyapal Singh, Bombay's police commissioner for crime. "We don't want dead criminals. We want them behind bars. But they often resist because they know they'll face 10 to 15 years in jail."
One of the few lawyers to have challenged Sharma is Majeed Memon, who claims that some of his killings have been premeditated. "Isn't it strange that when Sharma fires on so-called criminals, no victim has ever survived his injuries and lived to give his version of events?" he said.
But for the moment the public seems happy to give Sharma the benefit of the doubt. "The feeling is that one more killing means one fewer criminal out there and it's better just to close the file and move on to the next delinquent," said Ajit Panja, a Delhi lawyer.
Earlier this month Sharma shot his latest victims - three alleged members of the Pakistan-based Islamic group Lashkar-i-Toiba. They were suspected of being involved in two bomb explosions that killed more than 50 people in Bombay last month.
"These activists only care about human rights for terrorists, contract killers and drug traffickers, not human rights for ordinary people. They don't scare me and nor do the criminals. I'm doing my duty and I'll continue," said Sharma.