Julio Ribeiro (police officer)

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Julio Francis Ribeiro
21st Police Commissioner of Mumbai
In office
25 February 1982 – 6 June 1986
Personal details
Born (1929-05-05) 5 May 1929 (age 92)
Military service
Years of service1953–1989

Julio Francis Ribeiro (born 5 May 1929, in Bombay) is a retired Indian police officer and civil servant. He held increasingly responsible positions during his career, and led the Punjab Police during part of the Punjab insurgency periods. In 1987, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award for his services.[1]

Julio Ribeiro being welcomed by the US Consul General, Peter Haas at the 2011 US National Day Celebrations in Mumbai


Ribeiro joined the Indian Police Service in 1953 and rose to be the Commissioner of Mumbai Police from 1982 to 1986. He was promoted to Director General of Central Reserve Police Force, then to Director General Police of Gujarat.

Ribeiro served as Director General of Punjab Police during its worst years of terrorism in Punjab. The New York Times reported that in the 1980s, Ribeiro led the Punjab police in a "ferocious crackdown" on Sikh militants, in a policy christened "bullet for bullet"[2] by Arun Nehru.[3]

He held positions such as Special Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Adviser to the Governor of Punjab.

Ribeiro also served as Indian Ambassador to Romania[4] from 1989 until 1993. In August 1991, Ribeiro was attacked and wounded in a Bucharest assassination attempt by gunmen[5] identified as Punjabi Sikhs.[2]

In an April 2006 interview with The Tribune, Julio Ribeiro explained that "It has been a role reversal for me... from fighting militants to fighting the corrupt administration." He went on to explain that while he had been offered positions in government, "Fighting with guns was no longer my cup of tea; and I wanted to work for the people of my city, Mumbai. I wanted to be useful to lower socio-economic classes, and thus decided to work at the grass roots level."[6]

He also serves as non-executive Director to Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and as a Director of IIT Corporate Services Ltd.[4] He is usually interviewed for his views on communal harmony.[7]

1986 assassination attempt[edit]

In the early morning of 3 October 1986, 6 men in police disguise, identified in the press as Sikh militants[8][9][10] attacked Ribeiro inside the headquarters of Punjab Police in the city of Jalandhar, Punjab, India.[11] One guard was killed. Ribeiro, his wife, and four other police and paramilitary officers were injured. Ribeiro's wound was minor, but his wife was hospitalized.[8][12][13][14] All six attackers escaped in a waiting truck.[15] The Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) later claimed responsibility of this attack.[16] KCF leader Labh Singh allegedly led the assassination attempt.[9][10][17]

1991 assassination attempt[edit]

In August 1991, Ribeiro, then Indian Ambassador to Romania[4] was attacked and wounded in a Bucharest assassination attempt by gunmen[5] identified as Punjabi Sikhs.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Julio Ribeiro is married to Melba Ribeiro, has two daughters Nina and Anna, and lives in Mumbai, India.[citation needed]

Ribeiro titled his autobiography Bullet for Bullet: My Life as a Police Officer.[3][18]


  1. ^ "Padma Bhushan Awardees". india.gov.in. 1987. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b c GARGAN, EDWARD (10 October 1991). "ENVOY OF ROMANIA ABDUCTED IN INDIA". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b Gupta, G. V. "Bullet-for-bullet is not my baby". The Tribune (India). Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Board of Directors". Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  5. ^ a b "World IN BRIEF — ROMANIA — Gunmen Wound India Ambassador". Los Angeles Times. 21 August 1991. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  6. ^ Khanna, Ruchika M. (27 April 2006). "Ribeiro fighting corrupt administration". The Tribune. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  7. ^ Julio Ribeiro in conversation with Teesta Setalvad (Full Interview)
  8. ^ a b https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZNETAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kgYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4036,1046106&dq=ribeiro+sikh
  9. ^ a b Walia, Varinder (25 January 2002). "Panjwar village hums with poll activity". The Tribune. Retrieved 30 September 2009. ...who was responsible for the attack on Mr J.F. Rebeiro, the then DGP...
  10. ^ a b The Windsor Star (24 April 2008). "India files complaint over 'martyrs' parade". Canada.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2009. One of those featured – Gen. Labh Singh – led the assassination attempt on the director-general of Punjab police, Julio Ribeiro, in 1986.
  11. ^ Belle, G.G. (3 October 1986). "Disguised Sikhs attack compound of police chief". The Free-Lance Star. p. 3. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  12. ^ "Boca Raton News – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Spokane Chronicle – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ "The Free Lance-Star – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  15. ^ Tempest, Rone (4 October 1986). "Aide Battling Sikh Terrorism Survives Attack". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ "The Spokesman-Review – Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  17. ^ Sikh Extremists Open Fire On Top Punjab Police Official
  18. ^ Ribeiro, Julio (1 February 1998). Bullet for Bullet: My Life as a Police Officer (2 (paperback) ed.). Penguin Books Australia Ltd. p. 397. ISBN 978-0-14-027140-9.

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