The Cocky Pablo Escobars of Punjab

True Crime

The Cocky Pablo Escobars of Punjab

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré


avinder Bambiha wasn’t your average social-media influencer. Instead of gourmet food snaps, workout videos, and inspirational quotes, he preferred sharing his extensive arsenal of guns and ammo, and drug stashes, thus celebrating the swag of his glorious criminal lifestyle online. This A-category criminal, wanted by the Punjab police, lived as a viral hero on social media, notorious for his criminal exploits, and died as a legend.

After a life lived with chest-thumping celebration of gangsterhood, Davinder Bambiha (or Sharp Shooter, as he was known to the cops) was gunned down in a pre-dawn police encounter at Gill Kalan near Rampura, at the tender age of 25 in September 2016. Like the bad boy rockstars of the 27 Club, he became a cult hero in his death, that was inspired by and, in turn, inspired songs like “Guns and the Gunpoint”, “Live by the Gun, Die by the Gun”, and “Yehi Hai Lifestyle”, which put his short life into perspective. Even today, a full year after his death, Bambiha’s page – complete with a cover picture of guns of all shapes and sizes – is updated daily, like a prayer.