The Life And Times of 'Bulletman' KPS Gill in 20 Bullet Points
Former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) KPS Gill passed away at 2.30 PM at the Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi at age 82 after a brief illness. Known as the ‘Supercop’ and given various other epithets - Sher-e-Punjab and Shan-e-Punjab, Gill was a man who largely had admirers but did not fall short of detractors either.
A file image of Former Punjab DGP KPS Gill. (Photo: Getty Image)
New Delhi: Former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) KPS Gill passed away at 2.30 PM at the Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi at age 82 after a brief illness. Known as the ‘Supercop’ and given various other epithets - Sher-e-Punjab and Shan-e-Punjab, Gill was a man who largely had admirers but did not fall short of detractors either.
Here is a timeline:
· Born in Ludhiana: Kanwar Pal Singh Gill was born in Ludhiana in 1934
· First posting in the North-East: He joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1958 and his first posting was in the states of Assam and Meghalaya
· North-East expert: Gill spent 28 years in the North-East, ascending to the rank of Assam DGP.
· A no-nonsense officer: It was here, in Assam, where he came to be known for his decisive style of functioning
· Child of controversy: During his tenure as Assam DGP, Gill faced accusations of kicking a demonstrator to death. He was, however, acquitted by the Delhi High Court
· Back to Punjab: In 1984, when Sikh militancy in Punjab was at its peak, Gill was sent back to his home state as the DGP
· Two terms as Punjab DGP: He served as Punjab DGP from 1984 to 1988 and then again from 1991 to 1995, when he retired from the civil services
· Operation Black Thunder: Just four years after the infamous Operation Blue Star, militants, once again, were holed up inside the Golden Temple. In May 1988, Gill led Operation Black Thunder to flush them out. It was done with minimal damage to the temple. 67 militants surrendered at 43 were killed.
· Padma Shri: Gill received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, for his work in the civil services. He is largely credited for “ridding” Punjab of the militancy menace.
· Questionable Human Rights Record: Several independent groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, reported human rights abuses, including illegal detentions and torture, during Gill’s tenure.
· ‘Cash Rewards’ for killing militants: During his second term as DGP, Gill introduced a ‘bounty’ system that rewarded cops who killed militants. This policy came under criticism and several foreign publications called this “extrajudicial executions”.
· Jaswant Singh Khalra case: Human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra was taken into custody in 1995. Gill came under fire from Human Rights Groups, who claimed Khalra was arrested unlawfully. Punjab Police, however, denied that he was arrested.
· Institute for Conflict Management: After his retirement in 1995, Gill set up the Institute for Conflict Management. He advised several state governments on counter-insurgency operations.
· Sexual Harassment case: In 1996, Gill was convicted in a sexual harassment case.
· Sri Lanka seeks help: In 2000, the Government of Sri Lanka sought Gill’s expertise in drawing up a strategy in the civil war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
· Security advisor to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi: After the 2002 Gujarat riots, Gill was appointed the security advisor to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
· Anti-Naxal advisor: In 2006, the Chhattisgarh government appointed him as a special advisor to advise it on anti-Naxal operations.
· Indian Hockey Federation: Gill took over the reins at the Indian Hockey Federation, the then recognized national body by the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), in the year 1994 and stayed as its President till 2008.
· Allegations of corruption: During Gill’s tenure as President, the IHF was dogged with allegations of corruption.
· IHF loses recognition: In 2008, after the Indian Hockey team failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, the IHF lost a battle for recognition to Hockey India.
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