Kanwar Pal Singh Gill

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Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, began his career as a police officer in the north-eastern state of Assam, quickly earning a reputation as a tough officer. 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 and addressing militancy in the Sikh-majority state, for doing so, he earned the sobriquet of a "supercop" in rest of India.

Gill publishes the Faultlines journal and runs the Institute for Conflict Management, as well as advising governments and institutions on security related issues. He was asked by the government of Sri Lanka last year for similar advice. Mr Gill has also written a book, "The Knights of Falsehood", which explores the abuse of religious institutions by the politics of freedom struggle in Punjab.

He got involved in sports administration after retirement and was the IHF ( Indian Hockey Federation) president untill sacked because of corruption charges[1][2][3]

He has also been appointed as a consultant by the Chattisgarh government to help tackle the Naxalite movement in the state.

He is also known as a convicted sexual offender because of his conviction in a sexual crime by several courts of India[4][5][6].

Contribution to Counter-Terrorism

For 10 years, the Punjab countryside was in the grip of terrorists, over 10,000 lives were lost before the Punjab Police led by J.F. Ribeiro and following him K.P.S. Gill put them down with a heavy hand[citation needed]. A small section of the community hailed Bhindranwale as a martyr, lent tacit support to the demand for a separate state and condemned Gill as a wanton killer. According to Khushwant Singh , they were wrong and Gill saved Sikhs and Punjab for India. He came out as a hero in Khalistan episode. However, there were also charges levelled against him and his police by human rights activists and the disposal of over 1,000 bodies without proper identification or post-mortem. [2]

Even Khushwant Singh is said to have gone volte-face after reading the research Reduced to Ashes Book by a human rights group[3] [4] and remarked "It is spine-chilling.... Well, Mr Gill, it is not rubbish; you and the Punjab police have quite a few awkward questions to answer"[3].

KPS Gill's Counter-Terrorism Techniques in Punjab

There were serious charges leveled against him and his police by human rights activists that thousands of suspects were killed in staged shootouts and thousands of bodies were cremated/disposed without proper identification or post-mortem.[7][8] [9] [10]

Several number of Sikh women - teenage girls, young and old women, were reportedly gang-raped and molested by Indian security forces during house to house searches. Looting of the villagers’ property and ransacking of the entire villages also happened during his reign. [11][12]

Human Rights Watchdog has also reported that women (relatives of Terrorists/militants and the ones who were doubted as their harbours) ranged from teenagers to old were usually taken to the police custody where they were beaten, molested and physically harassed by male police officers to demoralize militants. In some cases men and women of same families were stripped naked and made to stand along with each other. Police also raised certain armed gangs to commit attrocities as well as looting of militant sympathizers[13][14]

As per HRW, Indian security forces arbitrarily detained, tortured, executed, and “disappeared” tens of thousands of Sikhs in counterinsurgency operations. In the early 1990s, Director General of Police (DGP) KPS Gill expanded upon a system of rewards and incentives for police to capture and kill militants, leading to an increase in “disappearances” and extrajudicial executions of civilians and militants alike. A recent study conducted by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the Bellevue/NYU Medical Center Program for Survivors of Torture revealed that family members of the “disappeared” were also tortured in over half of the cases they investigated[15].


Quotes

"Democracy and liberalism are not a sufficient defence and this is a fact that the ideologues of ‘freedom’ need, equally, to comprehend. There is a fatal flaw in the liberal mind. Having established, in structure and form [though seldom in substance], a system of governance that corresponds to its conception of democracy, it feels that nothing more needs to be done. The ‘Truths’ of the liberal ideology are, as the American Declaration on the Rights of Man expresses it, ‘Self Evident’. They require no proof, no reiteration, and no defence - certainly no defence by force of arms. Once democracy [or even the ritual of quinquinneal elections] is established, according to liberal mythology, the mystical ‘invisible hand’ keeps everything in place; the ‘superior wisdom of the masses’ ensures order and justice...

This is just so much rubbish. As we should know after living with falsehoods for fifty years now. Truth does not triumph; unless it has champions to propound it, unless it has armies to defend it."

Punjab: The Knights of Falsehood

Criticism

For some critics his success is a part of the story started by predecessor Julio Francis Ribeiro who started the "Bullet for Bullet" campaign of hitting back at militants and the strong hand in dealing with militancy adopted by Chief minister Beant Singh.

Sexual Crime

In August 1996 Gill was convicted of sexually harassing a senior Punjabi female civil servant, Rupan Deol Bajaj, for pinching/ slapping her bottom while inebriated at a party [16][17][18]. Mr Gill had to pay a hefty fine and was sentenced to three years in prison which was later reduced to probation.

Indian Hockey Federation

KPS Gill was the head of the Indian Hockey Federation untill sacked on April 28th 2008. It was under his leadership that India failed to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time since 1928. In an interview with NDTV, which exposed the shallow and momentary love for Indian hockey in the Indian media, and left the media people fumbling for words, he said that he would not resign because he believed that that was the easy way out.[19] He had been at the top spot since around 15 years.[20][21].

As per Times Now KPS Gill has been sacked from the top position of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on April 28th 2008 by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and has suspended the IHF for an indefinite period on charges of corruption[22][23][24]
  1. ^ http://www.timesnow.tv/Newsdtls.aspx?NewsID=7753
  2. ^ http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200804281964.htm
  3. ^ http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/storypage.aspx?id=90876764-7915-4961-a538-14a4fc12135f&&Headline=KPS+Gill+sacked+as+Indian+hockey+chief
  4. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1183776,prtpage-1.cms
  5. ^ 505 Pratiksha Baxi, Sexual harassment
  6. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050728/main5.htm
  7. ^ http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/india__who_killed_the_sikhs_130052
  8. ^ http://www.hinduonnet.com/2005/09/09/stories/2005090903181100.htm
  9. ^ http://www.indiatogether.org/2003/jun/hrt-missing.htm
  10. ^ http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=F072BE8A8A0506C08025690000692C86
  11. ^ https://www.ihro.in/?q=node/124
  12. ^ http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA20/002/2003/en/uvSEW2lMY-gJ
  13. ^ https://www.ihro.in/?q=node/46
  14. ^ https://www.ihro.in/?q=node/90
  15. ^ http://hrw.org/reports/2007/india1007/3.htm#_ftn1
  16. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1183776,prtpage-1.cms
  17. ^ 505 Pratiksha Baxi, Sexual harassment
  18. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050728/main5.htm
  19. ^ NDTV.com
  20. ^ The buck stops at Gill
  21. ^ Hockey in shame, up to its Gill
  22. ^ http://www.timesnow.tv/Newsdtls.aspx?NewsID=7753
  23. ^ http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200804281964.htm
  24. ^ http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/storypage.aspx?id=90876764-7915-4961-a538-14a4fc12135f&&Headline=KPS+Gill+sacked+as+Indian+hockey+chief