- KPS Gill, 82, died of cardiac arrest at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
- The former top cop is known for rooting out Sikh militancy from Punjab
- Received Padma Shri in 1989 for his contribution to the civil services
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had worked closely with the police officer more than a decade earlier, condoled his death. "KPS Gill will be remembered for his service to our nation in the fields of policing & security. Pained by his demise," he tweeted.
KPS Gill, who served twice as the Director General of Police in Punjab, is credited with rooting out militancy from the state. The outspoken police officer was a recipient of the Padma Shri award in 1989 for his contribution in the civil service.
He had retired from the Indian Police Service in 1995 but was often called to help state governments control difficult situations. As Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2002, Narendra Modi had appointed him as security adviser to end the post-Godhra riots in the state and restore confidence in the administration. He delivered on his mandate, within a week.
Many years later, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh also leaned on KPS Gill's experience to control the expansion of Maoists in the state. But the top cop didn't stay around for long. In 2013, he told NDTV that Chief Minister Raman Singh wasn't really serious about curbing Maoist violence.
"This is a man who not only defeated the Khalistani movement which none of the other leaders in the country had the courage to confront," said Ajai Sahni, executive director of the security think-tank Institute for Conflict Management that KPS Gill headed.
"He did not just save Punjab from separatism, he ensured no state in this country in a situation of enormous political mismanagement would think of separation and no terrorist movement would really have a real possibility of success," Mr Sahni told NDTV.