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India’s ‘supercop’ to advise Modi

May 05, 2002


AHMEDABAD, May 4: India’s most celebrated police official, K.P.S. Gill, on Saturday met top officials in Gujarat ahead of accepting a job to tone up the police force of the western state where Hindu-Muslim riots have left more than 900 people dead since February.

Gill is credited with putting down a bloody Sikh separatist campaign in 1992 that had claimed the lives of around 50,000 people in the northern state of Punjab since its start in 1983.

Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is accused by rights groups and various international forums of inept handling of the communal violence, said he would be glad to have the towering Sikh police official as his security advisor.

“It is good to have an experienced person such as Gill as my security advisor. Gill had very effectively tackled the Punjab terrorism problem,” Modi, a Hindu hardliner, told AFP in Gujarat’s commercial capital of Ahmedabad.

“Also the National Human Rights Commission has made a suggestion that our police force should be made more professional. Gill would help us in this task,” he said of the autonomous watchdog which has flayed Modi’s government for not stemming the bloodbath.

Gill, who earned the sobriquet “supercop” not only because of his successes in Punjab but for his role in battling tribal insurgency in Assam where he did a stint as police chief in the mid-1990s, was unavailable for comment.

The former Punjab police chief was named by the home ministry as Modi’s advisor.

The supercop also enjoys a fearsome reputation of putting down religious violence.—AFP