Punjab remained as conflicted on KPS Gill on the day of his death, as it was when the super cop was the state’s Director-General of Police when it was battling Khalistani militancy. While Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led the ruling Congress in paying tributes to the policeman who played an important, if controversial role, in ending militancy in the state, there was no official statement from the Shiromani Akali Dal, whose spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema told The Indian Express it was not necessary to condole “every death”. Amarinder, in his condolence message, acknowledged “Gill’s invaluable contribution in bringing peace back to the state from the grip of militancy”.
He said Gill’s role in “restoring peace and stability to Punjab cannot be undermined or forgotten, and he continues to be emulated by police and security personnel around the country as an example of how the most complex of problems can be resolved with grit and determination”. State’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra described Gill as an “honest, brave, highly efficient and upright officer with tremendous contribution in controlling insurgency in Punjab”.
Mohindra said it was due to the efforts of former Congress CM (late) Beant Singh, and Gill, that peace was restored in the state. State’s Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh said apart from being the “hero” who had brought militancy under control, Gill’s contributions as an author, editor, speaker, consultant on counter-terrorism, president of the Institute for Conflict Management and president of the Indian Hockey Federation had set examples for others.
With sections of its core constituency having no love lost for Gill, SAD maintained a studied official silence. Its spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said, “What to react on death.” Pressed further, he said the party did offer formal condolences at deaths, but “not for every death”. However, SAD’s ally BJP offered its condolences. Punjab BJP president Vijay Sampla said the “super cop” would always be remembered for eradicating insurgency from Punjab. “I am saddened to learn of KPS Gill’s demise. He was known for his bravery and courage and he always inspired others by leading from the front. He will be remembered for his steadfast fight against terrorism and restoration of peace and normalcy in Punjab,” he said.