Though on death now,Devinderpal Singh Bhullar is still a quiet village boy in the faded memories of his professors,colleagues and friends at his alma mater Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) in Ludhiana.
Bhullar,who graduated in mechanical engineering from the college in 1987,also worked as a professor in the mechanical engineering department of Guru Nanak Dev Polytechnic College an autonomous body under GNDEC till 1991.
His few acquaintances in college,remember a peaceful Bhular during the military days of Punjab. Darshan Singh Dhillon,who was very close to Bhullar in college,told The Indian Express,Bhullar he was a man with a lot of faith in the Indian system. He never believed in taking law in his own hands and killing people was a faraway thing for him.
In those days,students were influenced by Khalistan militant forces but Bhullar showed zero interest and lived in his own world with very few friends. He raised voice against small wrongs,like if a boy was beaten up or food was not good at the campus, he added.
However,the death of a classmate in Chandigarh,who was the son of IAS officer Darshan Singh Multani,had hit Bhullar hard,he said. He was killed by the police. This provoked Bhullar in those days of militancy, Dhillon said,m adding that this happened after Bhullar left GNDEC.
Balwinder Singh,a professor in GNDEC who saw Bhullar as a student and later a colleague,remembers him as a calm village boy who never had any leadership qualities. He was a very simple,docile,shy and calm person who never had much courage to lead things on his own. I cannot believe he was the conspirator behind a whole attack, he said.
Kulbir Singh Gill,another acquaintance of Bhullar from GNDEC,describes him as a nice fellow who was disturbed just like other students. But he was normal and had no inclination towards Khalistan ideologies. Death penalty for him will be an injustice as he is mentally unstable, he said.