Kanwar Pal Singh Gill
|Kanwar Pal Singh Gill|
|Born||1934 or 1935
(age 80 – 81)
|Occupation||Author, editor, president of the ICM|
|Board member of|||
Sardar Kanwar Pal Singh Gill (KPS Gill or KP Gill) served twice as Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab, where he is credited with having brought the Punjab insurgency under control, and while the BBC reports that many see Gill as a hero, there are accusations that Gill and the forces under his command were responsible for human rights violations "... in the name of stamping out terrorism."
Gill retired from the Indian Police Service in 1995. He is an author, editor, speaker, consultant on counter-terrorism, president of the Institute for Conflict Management and president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).  He has also been the center of controversy. In 1996, he was convicted for sexual harassment at a 1988 party.    However, on the other side, it is argued that Gill was targeted by lobbies inimical to him. After allegations of corruption within the IHF in 2008, the Indian Olympic Association suspended the IHF indefinitely.  
- 1 Career
- 2 Later developments in human rights matters
- 3 1996 conviction for sexual harassment
- 4 Opinion and activism
- 5 Awards and honours
- 6 Demand for Ban on Entry to London Olympics
- 7 Publications
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
As of September 2009, Gill remained president of the Institute for Conflict Management. As of July 2009, he was also winding up the affairs of the suspended Indian Hockey Federation as it merged with its replacement, Hockey India.
1956 – 1984
Altogether, Gill lived in the northeast region of India for 28 years, returning to his home state of Punjab in 1984. Gill joined the Indian Police Service in 1958 and was assigned to the Assam and Meghalaya states in northeast India.
In the early 1980s, Gill served as Inspector General of Police in Assam. Vinayak Ganapathy, writing for rediff.com in 2003, noted "Gill's no-nonsense style of functioning, which earned him the sobriquet 'supercop' in Punjab, made him unpopular among influential sections of the population" in Assam and called him "a controversial figure".
1984 – 1995
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.
During this era when Sikh extremists in the Khalistan movement were active in Punjab, there were reports of human rights violations in the Punjab region. Amnesty International reported that, from 1983 to 1994, armed groups struggling to form an independent Sikh state, assassinating perpetrators of 1984 Sikh programs or members of Congress Party, and taking hostages. It further reported that the police responded with a "crackdown", illegally detaining, torturing and killing "hundreds of young men". Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that from the 1980s Sikh separatists were guilty of targeted assassinations and attacks upon Hindu minorities in the Punjab state. HRW also reported that the government response resulted in further serious human rights violations against "tens of thousands". HRW report in 1991 described the security forces using “increasingly brutal methods to stem the militant movement, resulting in widespread human rights violations.” Thousands of civilians and suspected militants were summarily executed in staged "encounter" killings. Many "disappeared" while in police custody and thousands were detained without trial and subjected to torture. The post 1991 period coincides with the KPS Gill’s second tenure as Director General of Punjab police. It is this period that witnessed the most serious escalation of violence.
In May 1988, he commanded Operation Black Thunder to flush out militants hiding in the Golden Temple. Compared to Operation Blue Star, little damage was inflicted on the Golden Temple. In what was reported as a successful operation, around 67 Sikhs surrendered and 43 were killed in the encounter. Gill stated that he did not want to repeat the mistakes made by Indian army during Operation Blue Star. In contrast to prior operations, minimum force was used under full public scrutiny.
1991 saw the peak of violence in Punjab, with more than 5000 reported killed. In 1992, the Indian government, "intent on retaking Punjab from terrorism", appointed KPS Gill chief of the police in Punjab. The police and army instituted a crackdown, and in 1993 the reported death toll was less than 500. In 1993, The New York Times reported, the people of Punjab no longer feared the Sikh "rebels or gangs", but instead feared the army and police. . Patricia Gossman describes KPS Gill as having a “goal to eliminate, not merely arrest, militant Sikh leaders and members. KPS Gill also expanded a bounty system of rewards for police who killed known millitants – a practice that encouraged the police to resort to extra-judicial executions and disappearances.” The police were awarded financially for killing militants. “India’s central government created a special fund to finance Punjab’s death squads, to pay the network of informants who provided information about militants and those suspected of supporting militants, and to reward police who captured and killed them”. The reward was about 50,000 rupees ($1,670). In an article in India Today on 15 October 1992 it was written that “the rush of claiming cash rewards is turning police into mercenaries. Besides the rewards for killing militants (annual outlay for the purpose: Rs 1.13 crore [$338,000]), the department gives ‘unannounced rewards’ for killing unlisted militants”.
Jaswant Singh Khalra was a human rights activist who was taken into custody by Punjab Police on 6 September 1995. Human Rights Watch reported that an 11 September 1995 writ of habeas corpus from the Supreme Court was presented to DGP Gill, and officials denied that police had detained him. (2005 testimony by Special Police Officer Kuldeep Singh indicated that Gill later visited Khalra in October 1995, a few days before Khalra was killed.)
Under KPS Gill the scope of tracking down and arresting militants went beyond Punjab to other parts of India. “There were several reports during 1993 that Punjab police "hit teams" were pursuing alleged Sikh militants in other parts of India. On May 17, one such team raided an apartment in Calcutta looking for alleged militant Lakshmi Singh. According to neighbours, Punjab police commandos broke into the apartment early that morning, shot Singh and his wife in their bedroom, then fled with the bodies. The government of West Bengal lodged a protest with the Punjab government, but no disciplinary action was reported against the police commandos”.
1995 – 1999
Gill founded the Institute for Conflict Management (ICM)         and was its first president.       Press reports noted that he ran the ICM.
In 1997, the Chief minister of Assam state Prafulla Kumar Mahanta requested his services as security advisor. However since the sexual harassment case against him was pending he was not able to take this appointment.
In 1999, Delhi Police arrested Richhpal Singh, who was allegedly a Babbar Khalsa suicide bomber on a mission to assassinate Gill. He arrived in Delhi from Pakistan on an Afghan passport. Two kilograms of the explosive RDX, four detonators, and some "live wire"[clarification needed] were recovered from him. In an interview after this incident, Gill claimed that he had been a target of four or five such assassination attempts by Babbar Khalsa and other Sikh militant groups. Gill stated that he was not afraid.
2000 – 2004
In 2000 the government of Sri Lanka sought his expertise as an anti-terrorism expert to help them draw a comprehensive counter terrorism strategy against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam He was approached by Lakshman Kadirgamar who was the foreign minister of Sri Lanka After the defeat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam the similarity in the tactics used by Sri Lanka with the tactics used by Gill in Punjab was noted in an article published in India Today
He was appointed security adviser to the state of Gujarat after 2002 Gujarat violence. Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi commenting on his appointment stated “It is good to have an experienced person such as Gill as my security advisor. Gill had very effectively tackled the Punjab terrorism problem.” He requested deployment of 1,000 extra specially-trained riot police from Punjab state to combat the violence. He was credited with controlling violence after his appointment. He arrived in Gujarat on 3 May 2002 He subsequently blamed a 'small group' of people for the Gujarat riots.
In April 2003, there was a report that KPS Gill was being considered for the position of governor of Assam. The Northeast Study Group, of which Gill is a member, had advised against assigning a state's previous security personnel to a state as governor. Chief minister of state of Assam agreed, noting that Gill had served as Inspector-General there in the early 1980s.
Martin Regg Cohn argued in a Toronto Star editorial that policies followed in Punjab by KPS Gill should be utilised in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.  An academic paper, "The Gill Doctrine: A Model for 21st Century Counterterrorism?", analysing his tactics in the successful fight against the Punjab insurgency was presented at the annual meeting of American Political Science Association on 30 August 2007.
2005 – 2009
The government of Chhattisgarh state in India appointed him a security adviser to help control Naxalites in 2006. After an attack by Naxalites killed 55 policemen in 2007 Gill commented that the issue was one of "underdevelopment in police forces. The state policy was to leave these tribal areas alone and that gave Naxalites a base. There used to be just 3,000 police for an area the size of Switzerland. That is now changing but it will take time. But yes, it is a winnable war.".
In March 2008, India's hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the 1st time since the team's debut in 1928. Narender Batra, one of 11 IHF vice presidents, on resigning his position over the failure to qualify, accused Gill of "autocratic functioning", and called on the entire IHF staff to step down.   Gill responded that the critics were "professional mourners" who were proud to "run down the establishment", and stated "I will respond to these things at a later stage. We do not have an instant coffee machine that you can get results instantly."   Alok Sinha, writing for India Times, noted that the top 2 executives, Gill and the secretary general, did not even talk to one another.  There were rumours that the secretary general of the IHF, leader of the anti-Gill faction, would also resign. 
Less than a month after the qualification failure, in April 2008, Aaj Tak Television reported that it had caught the secretary general of the IHF taking a bribe on camera to choose a player in a "sting". There were renewed calls for Gill to resign.   After the allegations of corruption within the IHF, the Indian Olympic Association(IOA) on 28 April 2008, suspended the IHF indefinitely. [dead link] IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said in a press conference that "We have great respect for K P S Gill and it is not personal."
Later developments in human rights matters
On 16 January 1995, Jaswant Singh Khalra, human rights activist and general secretary of the Akali Dal's human rights wing, issued a press note alleging that Punjab security organisations had cremated thousands of unidentified bodies.    . Khalra suggested that most of those cremations were people with links to the separatist movement who had been picked up illegally by the Punjab police from 1984 to 1994 (this was later found to be true by the National Human Rights Commission of India after their own investigation). In January 1995 Khalra’s organisation filed a writ petition in the Haryana High Court requesting an independent investigation of the disappearances and cremations. The High Court dismissed the petition on the ground that it had no locus stand.
Khalra had told others that he was receiving threats on his life from the Punjab police shortly before his abduction on 6 September 1995. Khalra "disappeared" while cleaning his car outside his house where "several witnesses saw him being picked up by Punjab police outside his home in Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab. Police officials denied that he was arrested or detained". Khalra was taken into custody by Punjab Police on 6 September 1995. Human Rights Watch reported that an 11 September 1995 writ of habeas corpus from the Supreme Court was presented to DGP Gill, and officials denied that police had detained him.
In 2001, Sardool Singh, speaking for the Zinda Shaheed Police Officers Association, announced to the press “We have decided to return the gallantry medals to the President of India on the occasion of Police Martyr’s Day on October 21 if the cases against us are not withdrawn.” He also said that the association was filing a writ with the Supreme Court that cases be opened against senior police and political staff, including then-Director General of Police KPS Gill, for their "... ordering and certifying the encounters..." that resulted in over 650 junior officers facing human rights violation charges.
In 2003, Khushwant Singh, author of "A History of the Sikhs", wrote a review of "Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab" for The Tribune titled K. P. S. Gill you have questions to answer. Khushwant Singh noted that he supported Gill's use of extrajudicial methods to "stamp out terrorism" as the judicial system was in a state of collapse due to judges being too frightened to rule against the "terrorists." Singh commented on the murder of J.S. Khalra that "There were others like him who were disposed of because the police did not like them." and "It is spine-chilling." Khushwant Singh reported that when asked for comment, Gill's response was "Rubbish." The review continued "Well, Mr Gill, it is not rubbish; you and the Punjab police have quite a few awkward questions to answer." 
In 2004, India's National Human Rights Commission published a list of 2097 bodies cremated as unclaimed. Of those, the Commission had identified 693 at the time.
In 2004, Khushwant Singh wrote K.P.S. Gill Is a "Hero" for The Tribune, and stated that "For 10 years, the Punjab countryside..." had been "...in the grip of terrorists..." until KPS Gill and Julio Francis Ribeiro led the Punjab Police to "...put them down with a heavy hand." Khushwant Singh reported allegations that Gill was "...a wanton killer...", but that in his judgement, this view was not correct. 
In 2005, Special Police Officer Kuldeep Singh testified in court that in October 1995, after Khalra had been beaten and tortured, and bore the signs of torture on his body, then-DGP KPS Gill visited Khalra at SSP Ajit Singh Sandhu's home. He further testified that Gill remained with Khalra in the room for "half an hour", that a few days later Khalra was killed, and finally that on the way back to Jhabal police station after disposing of the body, he was told that Khalra could have saved himself if he had listened to the advice of KPS Gill.   This evidence was accepted by the Trial Court, the High Court and Supreme Court of India as being reliable.
Human Rights Watch and Ensaaf (another human rights organisation focused on Punjab), argue that KPS Gill had knowledge of Khalra's illegal detention, could reasonably have been expected to have knowledge of his torture, and had the authority and responsibility to order Khalra's release, which would have prevented Khalra's death.
On 18 November 2005, six Punjab police officials were convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for Khalra’s abduction and murder. On 16 October 2007, a division bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court chaired by Justices Mehtab Singh Gill and A N Jindal extended the sentence to life imprisonment for four of those convicted: Satnam Singh, Surinder Pal Singh, Jasbir Singh (all former Sub Inspectors) and Prithipal Singh (former Head Constable).   The Supreme Court upheld the convictions of the 6 police officials for their involvement in the abduction, detention and murder of Khalra. KPS Gill was DGP of the Punjab Police at the time and the convicted officials were his subordinates.
Some 17 years after Khalra’s abduction and murder the writ petition filed by his wife Paramjit Kaur Khalra into the role and involvement of KPS Gill is still pending before the High Court.
Human Rights Watch noted that one case under investigation in 2007 by India's National Human Rights Commission focused on allegations that "thousands" had been killed and cremated by security forces throughout Punjab.
1996 conviction for sexual harassment
A senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) female officer named Rupan Deol Bajaj filed a complaint against Gill for, in 1988, "patting" her "posterior" at a party where he was alleged to be drunk. In August 1996, Gill was convicted under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult a lady), generally summarised as sexual harassment. Gill was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs 200,000, be imprisoned rigorously for 3 months and simply for 2 months, and finally to serve 3 years of probation. After final appeals before the Supreme Court in July 2005, the conviction was upheld, and the jail sentences were reduced to probation. The victim had declined to accept the monetary compensation, and the court ordered that it be donated to women's organisations.
Opinion and activism
Gill has been, and remains as of 2010, an outspoken critic of the Indian Government handling of national security issues. He has blamed it for "soft nature and under-preparedness", and argues that policy is formed without input from anti-terrorism experts, and that the country lacks a national security policy.
Awards and honours
He received a Padma Shri award, India's 4th-highest civilian honour, in 1989 for his work in the civil service.
Demand for Ban on Entry to London Olympics
There was strong demand for banning the entry of KPS Gill during London Olympics 2012. The third motion proposed by LIBERATION, a United Kingdom (UK) based and United Nations (UN) affiliated Human Rights Group, to communicate immediately to the British Parliament, Home office, and British Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ban the visit, during the London Olympics 2012, of the former Congress MP Jagdish Tytler – the prime accused of 1984 Sikhs massacre and former DGP of Punjab K P S Gill, due to his gross violations of Human Rights. After a few months, the British Home Secretary announced that KPS. Gill was not allowed to attend the London Olympics 2012 while Gill remained furious.
KPS Gill has faced warning of his medals being stripped from him. Gill, convicted in 1996 for misbehaving and sexually assaulting a female IAS officer, has said it is not right to strip officers of medals with retrospective effect. The former DGP also said he won’t be bothered if his medals are taken away.
KPS Gill's 1997 book, "Punjab: The Knights of Falsehood" has been reprinted in 2008 in paperback. He edited the 2001 book "Terror And Containment: Perspectives on India's Internal Security" with Ajai Sahni. He also authored "The Global Threat of Terror:Ideological, Material & Political Linkages", also with Ajai Sahni.
- 1984 anti-Sikh riots
- 1987 Punjab killings
- 1991 Punjab killings
- Air India bombing
- Human rights in India
- Human rights in Punjab, India
- Operation Blue Star
- Khalistan Movement
- Sumedh Singh Saini
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I am a Sikh and I confronted Sikh terrorism in Punjab. There were thousands of people who condemned terrorism and lost their lives.
- Jyotsna Singh (8 May 2002). "Profile: KPS Gill". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
Mr Gill is known for his success in rooting out militancy from the Indian state of Punjab...
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Former supercop KPS Gill, who is credited with decimating militancy in Punjab...
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- "A mockery of justice: The case concerning the "disappearance" of human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra severely undermined". Amnesty International. 20 July 1999. Retrieved July 2009.
several witnesses saw him being picked up by Punjab police outside his home in Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab. Police officials denied that he was arrested or detained.
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- Suicide bomber nabbed in Delhi, Rediff.com, 1999-06-07
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- KPS Gill to advise Lanka on security, The Indian Express, 2000-05-16
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- 'Sri Lanka won by throwing away the rulebook', India Today, 2009-05-24
- India’s ‘supercop’ to advise Modi, Dawn, 2002-05-04
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- AN UNQUIET PEACE, Frontline, 2002-05-25
- Religious Riots Loom Over Indian Politics, The New York Times, 2002-07-27
- 'Small group' responsible for Gujarat riots: Gill, The Hindu, 2002-11-14
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- Gill’s next job: Chhattisgarh security advisor, The Indian Express, 2006-04-07
- India's Maoist insurgency gathers pace as police station raid kills 55, The Guardian, 2007-03-16
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- Strike fear into the minds of criminals, KPS Gill tells Govt, The Indian Express, 2002-01-24
- Ashamed of NSG role in Mumbai: KPS Gill, The Indian Express, 2008-12-12
- KPS Gill for policy against terrorism, The Tribune, 2009-02-09
- ‘Politicos pose bigger danger to country than Pakistan', The Indian Express, 2009-06-23
- Top cops decry shoddy planning, Hindustan Times, 2010-04-07
- "Ban Genocide accuseds KPS Gill & Jagdish Tytler during London Olympics 2012". Sikh Siyasat News. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
- Gill, KPS (1997). Punjab: The Knights of Falsehood. Har-Anand Publications. p. 142.
- Gill, Kanwar Pal Singh (30 August 2008). Punjab: The Knights of Falsehood (Paperback ed.). Har Anand Publications,India. p. 142. ISBN 978-81-241-1364-6.
- KPS Gill,Ajai Sahni, ed. (2001). Terror And Containment: Perspectives on India's Internal Security. Gyan Books. p. 368. ISBN 9788121207126. Retrieved July 2009.
- Gill, KPS; Ajai Sahni (2002). The Global Threat of Terror. Roli Books, Bulwark Books & Institute for Conflict Management. p. 268. ISBN 9788187553113. Retrieved July 2009.
- BBC News Profile: KPS Gill
- Home page of the Institute for Conflict Management which KPS Gill runs
- 4.8MB PDF of "Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab" 2003 at Ensaaf.org