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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Super Cop KPS Gill is no more !! - Tributes ..

Every year the Republic Day Parade attracts people for sure .. .. .. do you know your local Police Inspector ?  For sure, in rotation you could see a young brave Officer in uniform, and if you are following, you might see him land up in higher posts, achieving something for the State.

This classic image of a fearless Indian soldier imbued with the almost holy duty of love and sacrifice for his motherland has long been celebrated in our popular culture.  ~ and if you are attach a Name and image to that – it could easily be – KPS Gill [the one whom I admire most is Mr K Vijayakumar IPS] - One living figure that fits this picture, many would say, has to be KPS Gill. Towering at 6 feet, armed with a thick Maharaja moustache, a piercing pair of eyes and a mug that rarely breaks into a smile while in uniform can be an ideal image of a hero for many. And with a body of work that articulates valour, leadership and awe from his subordinates, it is all the more a model.  IN the early 1970s, as crowds spilled out of Guwahati soccer matches, fans would often be greeted by the sight of an imposing, 6-foot Sikh officer, his lathi in hand, the star and Ashok Chakra on his epaulette identifying him as the city’s Superintendent of Police. If brawls broke out, the officer’s escort would round on the first man at hand, and a fearsome screaming would follow. “The first man at hand”, recalls one of Gill’s colleagues. 

Kanwar Pal Singh Gill is no more !!   The Super Cop, served twice as Director General of Police (DGP) for the state of Punjab, India, where he is credited with having brought the Punjab insurgency under control.  Gill was an author, editor, speaker, consultant on counter-terrorism, president of the Institute for Conflict Management and president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). He received a Padma Shri award, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in 1989 for his work in the civil service. [ if you search the list you will see many actors / actresses in the list of Padma award – how they share the award with acclaimed men like Gill and Scientists is no mystery !!]

Apart from keeping militancy at bay, Gill had successfully handled two hijacking incidents at the same tarmac in Amritsar in 1993.  A Delhi-Srinagar Indian Airlines flight 427  was hijacked by Hizbul Mujahedeen hijacker Syed Jalaluddin, who  held a marathon six-hour negotiation; meantime, six helicopters ferried NSG team that surrounded the plane. Gill’s men used silent pistol to silence the militant armed with revolver and grenades  and he was the only one killed, all passengers safe.   
Kunwar Pal Singh Gill, who passed away at 82 on Friday morning in New Delhi after battling kidney and heart disease for several years, earned a national reputation for stamping out the Khalistan insurgency at a time when many had given up Punjab as lost. His colleagues in the Indian Police Service, recalled an officer with an exceptional talent for leadership during crisis, and a willingness to experiment with radical new strategies to fight terrorism.

“He was honest to core where money was concerned, and a man of immense courage, the courage of a lion,” recalled E N Rammohan, former Director General of the Border Security Force who served under Gill for the first time in 1969.  Gill’s major successes included commanding Operation Black Thunder in 1988 — an operation which demonstrated terrorists could have been flushed out of the Golden Temple in 1984 without massive loss of life, and its devastating political fallout.

Gill was, however, removed by Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar Singh’s government, in a bid to facilitate negotiations with Khalistan groups.  He had brought in fresh ideas including armoured vehicles of a different kind.  Faced with terrorists hiding in high sugarcane fields, which made locating them dangerous business, Gill’s in-house research unit invented the armoured tractor, a crude but effective armoured vehicle that could drive into the slushy fields. Forensic tools and jammers were built from scrap. Exceptional leadership, contemporaries say, was Gill’s most important skill. Gill’s real contribution, was, experts believe, to break one of the most hallowed principles of Indian counter-insurgency — that military-led operations, involving large-force saturation of the countryside was the best way to address challenges to the state. Instead, he pioneered a new doctrine, which involved light-footprint offensive operations, based on intelligence-led developed by local police stations.

A book on him by Rahul Chandran titled ‘KPS Gill : The Paramount Cop’ hit the stands.  Its intro reads :  In 1860, when the civil war was going on in USA, General Ulysses S. Grant under the President Abraham Lincoln, played a major role in preserving the Union, the United States of America. Americans elected Grant as President of America. In 1990s, The Paramount Cop, KPS Gill, played a similar role in preserving the Union of India. He is the Ulysses S. Grant of India. Do we Indians remember him? Gill is epitome of extreme honesty, unwavering courage, unbeatable intelligence and uncompromising patriotism.

Long live Gill, Gill is no more !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th May 2017.

Pic and news credit : New Indian Express.

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