KPS Gill, Punjab's supercop - the man who saved the state from insurgency, passed away at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi after sudden cardiac arrest due to cardiac arrhythmia. Doctors say KPS Gill was suffering from End Stage Kidney Failure and significant Ischemic Heart Disease.
Padma Shree awardee, Gill was best known for two terms as Director General of Police for Punjab. He was credited for having brought the Punjab insurgency under control. But he also had his fair share of controversies.
82-year-old Gill retired from the Indian Police Service in 1995. Later, Gill became an author, editor, speaker, consultant on counter-terrorism, president of the Institute for Conflict Management and president of the Indian Hockey Federation.
He received a Padma Shri award, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in 1989 for his work in the civil service.
Supercop Gill and his work against insurgency in Punjab
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. Gill led a controversial crackdown on the insurgency. While there were reports of human rights violations, many people from in and out of Punjab hailed him as the saviour of the state.
Operation Black Thunder
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.
Sexual harassment conviction
A female IAS 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, he 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 and to suffer three months rigorous imprisonment, followed by two months' ordinary imprisonment and finally to serve three years of probation.
After final appeals before the Supreme Court in July 2005, the conviction was upheld but 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.