K P S Gill, the supercop credited with rooting out terrorism in Punjab with an iron hand, passed away on Friday, succumbing to a kidney ailment at the age of 82.
He had also served as the Director General of Police in Assam and after his retirement, the benefit of his expertise was availed of even by Sri Lanka in the year 2000 during its fight against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Born in Ludhiana in 1935, Gill did his masters in English from Shimla's St Edmunds School. Joining the Indian Police Service in 1958 and being posted to the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, he spent the next quarter century in the northeast. But there also he got embroiled in controversy to the extent that, in 2003, then Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi declined a proposal to make him the state governor.
Gill, who headed the Assam Police when the anti-foreigners agitation was at its height, seemed to have put off many people there with his brusque style. He was also charged with beating a prisoner to death but was exonerated in the case by the Supreme Court.