Former DGP of Punjab KPS Gill, who had served as security advisor to the Gujarat chief minister in 2002, has said that Narendra Modi cannot be blamed for post-Godhra riots as it is the job of the police leadership to respond to law and order situations.
"In law and order situations, it is the police leadership which has to respond and not the political leadership," Gill said when asked by reporters about his assessment of Modi's handling of post-Godhra events.
He was speaking at the launch of his biography — "KPS Gill: The Paramount Cop" on Thursday night, which was attended by eminent personalities like Punjab Kesari group editor in chief Vijay Kumar Chopra, Indian Express editor in chief Shekhar Gupta, former CBI director PC Sharma and others.
In the book, Gill has lavished praise on Modi saying he had "sincere" intentions to end the violence and accused other parties of trying to defame him.
"I realised that people of all political parties who were anti-Modi and anti-BJP were taking advantage of this mayhem and making all efforts to defame Modi one way or the other," he says.
He charged the policemen and the administration had become communal after the incident in Godhra and Modi, who had just become the chief Minister, did not have proper grip over the state machinery.
Speaking to reporters, he said that after taking charge as the security advisor of the state, he had visited all places where violence had taken place and policemen from top to bottom refuted having received any direction of the type being mentioned.
He also said a majority of the deaths in the riots had taken place in 5-6 incidents. Addressing the audience, Gill said some of his family members did not like his comments.
He told reporters that while his family members had been reading newspapers, he had experienced the developments.
Gill had been appointed in May, 2002, as the security advisor to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to bolster efforts to effectively check communal violence in the state.
Vijay Kumar Chopra, editor in chief of Punjab Kesari, lauded Gill's stint as DGP of Punjab and said he had "infused a new life in a lifeless police force".
Comparing Gill with legendary Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa, Chopra said he has been a big factor in restoring normalcy in the state wracked by militancy in 1980s.
Shekhar Gupta said he had the fortune to be a fellow traveller who witnessed Gill as a police officer in Assam where his reading of ground reality was far more realistic than those around him.
He added that in his interactions with Gill during his reporting years, he realised that even in Punjab he could diagnose and predict situations with great clarity.
PC Sharma said Gill thoroughly backed officers who had worked under him.
The biographer Rahul Chandan said he had grown up in Punjab and heard stories about Gill and felt he had engaged in a worthwhile pursuit.