New Delhi/Chandigarh: Rich tributes were paid on Saturday to former DGP K.P.S. Gill at a memorial service in Delhi, with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh saying the “supercop was a brave officer who knew how to lead from the front”.
“In his death, I have lost a friend. It happens in several generations that you come across a man who leaves a mark the way Gill did,” the senior Congress leader said at the memorial service for the retired Punjab Director General of Police (DGP).
Gill, who played a leading role in ending terrorism in Punjab as the state’s DGP, died on May 26 at the age of 82 in New Delhi.
Amarinder Singh recalled his first meeting with Gill regarding the former’s book on the 1962 India-China war.
Gill was then the Superintendent of Police of Tejpur in Assam, and determined to give a befitting reply to the Chinese Army’s incursion into the sector. “The man knew how to lead from the front, whatever the threat….”
The Chief Minister said the nation had lost a great man, who contributed to peace in Punjab and in the country, thus enabling their progress and development in an environment free from terror.
Recalling Gill’s contribution as an IPS officer to fighting Sikh militancy in Punjab, the Chief Minister said those who had not lived through those darks days, when more than 35,000 people were killed, could not really understand his (Gill’s) contribution to the border state.
“When he took over Punjab Police reins, it was a force of shattered men, who would shut down police stations after sunset for fear of terrorists,” the senior Congress leader said.
He said Gill launched night dominance operations to restore public confidence and things started changing in the early 1990s.
“The police morale was boosted by his strong actions, enabling them to fight and win the war against terror,” Amarinder Singh said.
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora, who worked under the ‘supercop’ during terrorism in Punjab, said the way Gill led the police force during the days of terrorism made him a messiah in the eyes of police officers and personnel.
“So strong was Gill’s connect with Punjab Police that he never effectively retired. I used to consult him even after his retirement,” Arora said.
Former Amritsar MLA and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla described Gill as the “protector of Punjab and the destroyer of militancy”, saying his work for Punjab is well recognised by those who suffered due to terrorism.