Former Punjab DGP K P S Gill died on Friday in Delhi, after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was suffering from end stage kidney failure and significant ischemic heart disease and had been recovering from peritonitis. The former DGP often credited for playing a key role in ending terrorism in Punjab, passed away at the age of 82. He has been called a “supercop”, for his work in Punjab, where he was the Director General of Police. From 1988 to 1990 and then again from 1991 until his retirement from the Indian Police Service in 1995, he served as the DGP in the state. While there were many questions raised on his methods to curb militant activities in the state, many supported him saying that such methods were necessary to stamp out terrorism as the judicial system was in a state of collapse.
Punjab, in the 80s, had begun to emerge as a serious threat to national integrity, and that is when Gill was specially inducted into the State as Inspecter General of Police (Operations). He was later elevated to the ranks of Additional Director General of Police, before becoming the DGP. Within days of taking over as DGP, he mounted ‘Operation Black Thunder’, a critical success in the war against terrorism. In his later years, Gill remained occupied with the activities of the Indian Hockey Federation of which he was the president and the Institute of Conflict Management which he co-founded in New Delhi.
Here are 10 things you should know about the famous Punjab DGP KPS Gill:
1. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, popularly known as K P S Gill, had joined the Indian Police Service(IPS) in 1958 and was assigned to two northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya.
2. He served twice as the DGP of Punjab and is credited for rooting out militancy in the state. He retired from IPS in 1995.
3. In 1989, Gill received a Padma Shri award, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, for his work in the civil service.
4. He later turned into an author and wrote the book Punjab: The Knights of Falsehood in 1997. He also edited the 2001 book Terror And Containment: Perspectives on India’s Internal Security with Ajai Sahni and also co-authored the book The Global Threat of Terror: Ideological, Material & Political Linkages with Sahni.
5. He was also an editor of the Institute for Conflict Management(ICM) and president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
6. In the early 1980s, Gill served as Inspector General of Police in Assam. While Director General of Police in Assam, Gill was charged with kicking a demonstrator to death, but was acquitted by the Court, according to various reports.
7. In May 1988, he commanded Operation Black Thunder to flush out militants hiding in the Golden Temple. It was a successful operation where around 67 Sikhs surrendered and 43 were killed in the encounter.
8. Gill had founded the Institute for Conflict Management and was its first president. He also advised governments on counter-terrorism matters.
9. In 1996, an IAS officer had filed a complaint against Gill, for which he was convicted under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult a lady). After a court ruling and final appeals in the Supreme Court, Gill’s sentence was reduced to probation and a fine, The Tribune reported.
10. Gill was banned from entering the London Olympics in 2012 after a Human Rights Group appealed to the British government.