Kanwar Pal Singh Gill: "Super Cop"
Kanwar Pal Singh Gill
He is the man to whom all of India is grateful for crushing terrorism in Punjab with an iron hand.
Mr. Gill began his career as a Police Officer in Assam and rose to become the Director General of Punjab Police. Though he has retired from the Police, his experience and skills are still sought after by Governments and institutions alike. The Government of Sri Lanka also sought his advice on anti-terrorism issues.
The 'Tough Man' of the Indian Police is also the President of Indian Hockey Federation. He runs the Institute for Conflict Management, publishes the Faultlines journal, and has also written a book, "The Knights of Falsehood" on the abuse of religious institutions by the terrorists in Punjab.
Recently appointed security advisor to the beleaguered chief minister of Gujarat, the Super Cop of India KPS Gill's main concern today is to curb the two-month long communal violence in the state of Gujarat.
The state has been in the grip of Hindu-Muslim violence for more than two months and Mr Gill has been assigned the job of advising the state administration on security.
Widely praised as a one-man army and widely feared by criminals across the country, Mr Gill was dubbed "Super Cop" after his success in Punjab. He curbed and rooted out militancy from Punjab.
He became a household name across the country as Punjab police chief in the early 1990s, when he was credited with crushing a separatist revolt in the Sikh-majority state.
Terrorism cannot be tackled by a soft-pedal approach, says supercop K.P.S. Gill who finds the suggestion given by some politicians to have the United Nations mediate on the current world crisis quite amusing.
``All these years, I was under the misconception that a politician in India is a realist,'' said Mr. Gill at a function in Delhi the other day. ``If we take the debate to the UN, we will only be discussing it for the next 50 years.''
The supercop, who tackled terrorism with an iron hand in Punjab, however felt though the response to terror cannot be terror, there was need for using violence to some extent. ``I am a Sikh and I confronted Sikh terrorism in Punjab. There were thousands of people who condemned terrorism and lost their lives.''
Alluding to double standards in tackling terrorism, Mr. Gill cited the example of the Kanishka bombing in which the human rights of the person who master-minded the attack was given more importance in comparison to the rights of people who perished in the Air India crash. ``The victory of terrorism anywhere is the victory of terrorism everywhere,'' he cautioned.
Operation Black Thunder
The NSG has five combat divisions. The two Special Action Groups (SAG), whose commandos are drawn from the armed forces, are in charge of anti-terrorist and anti-hijack operations. One specialises in bus, train and plane interventions, and the other has expertise in sniffing out militants. The Special Rangers Groups (SRG) are in charge of VVIP protection, and are sourced from the paramilitary forces and the state police. The NSG was a child of the times. After Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, which followed the botched Operation Blue Star, the Centre decided to raise a force solely to fight terrorism on all terrain. The force was tested during Operation Black Thunder in Punjab in 1987. K.P.S. Gill, former Director-General of Police, said: "The Black Cats were under my command during Operation Black Thunder. They performed very well."
Gill is no stranger to controversy
Publisher and editor of Faultlines
K.P.S. Gill is the publisher and editor of Faultlines, the founding President of the Institute for Conflict Management, and a former member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). An officer of the Assam cadre of the Indian Police Service, he served in a number of theatres of civil strife and low intensity warfare, and, as Director General of the Punjab Police, led the successful campaign against terrorism in that State. Among other activities after his retirement from the Police, he writes on internal security, political and developmental issues for a number of newspapers and magazines.
This fearless supercop then wrote an incredibly powerful book 'The Knights of Falsehood', in which he gave shocking and graphic details of the murders, rapes and torture that the terrorists committed. He traced the rise of the Punjab terrorists...and their fall. How did Gill finish off these hard core murderers? This book reads like fiction - yet it is all true.
There has been a dark side to Mr Gill's success and he is no stranger to controversy.
He and his team have been accused of committing excesses in the name of stamping out terrorism.
Then in the mid-1990s, a senior female civil servant from Punjab, Rupan Deol Bajaj, sued him successfully for sexual harassment.
Mr Gill had to pay a hefty fine and was sentenced to three years in prison which was later reduced to probation.
Despite his conviction Mr Gill's iconic status remains untarnished among both ordinary people and political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Observers say the BJP-led government is hoping to cash in on Mr Gill's image.
The Central government has been under tremendous pressure to intervene directly in Gujarat following allegations of complicity between rioters and the police and state administration.
Critics have dismissed Mr Gill's appointment as a mere symbolism.
They say his role has not been clearly defined and as the state government's adviser he will not have any real authority to execute his own plans.
The main opposition Congress Party has even demanded to know exactly to whom he will be accountable.
Mr Gill himself, however, has dismissed any such doubts and says he has the support of the state government.
He has described the situation in Gujarat as "very bad" and has given himself a month for a full assessment of the situation.
His definition of success
"Success to me is to be able to do the assigned task to my own satisfaction. Only if I am satisfied will anyone else be satisfied with my job. In my entire service I have always looked beyond the immediate momentómay be ten years ahead. Thatís how I perceive success," says the Padamshree-decorated retired Director General of Punjab Police.
"My Plans Will Serve The State A Decade Down The Line"
Attitude towards life
"I have a very positive attitude towards life. I love to have a good time and work hard. I have loved my life and have always given everything that I have done my very best. I have no regrets and would relive my life the same way."
Advice to the younger generation
"No advice at all !!! Infact I would tell them NOT to listen to their elders !!!! Live your own life, make your own decisions and learn your own way. I think the younger generation are really moving fast and will make it big..especially the women. I think women will definitely take over the world. So just follow your own path and go your own way and do not be afraid of making mistakes as you will only learn through them !"
Supercop K.P.S.Gill says he destresses by exercising everyday for an hour and a half. "I read a lot. Presently I am re-reading P.G.Woodehouse."