Former Punjab director general of police (DGP) KPS Gill on Thursday said the Punjab Police had done the right thing in leading the combat operation against terrorists at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur on Monday.
Addressing the media during meet the press programme organised by the Chandigarh Press Club here, the former top cop said the Punjab Police was trained for such operations and they did what was expected of them. "We glorify terrorists when we say we need the army to tackle them or call in the National Security Guards (NSG) for such operations. It is like saying they are so dangerous that they cannot be taken care of by the state police. Who is a terrorist? He is just like any other criminal laced with dangerous weapons," he said.
Building a case for training and equipping state police better, Gill said instead of creating special forces and groups for tackling such situations, it is the state police which should be prepared to handle any exigency. "The army cannot be everywhere. It is police's job to maintain law and order. The Centre should provide funds to states to upgrade the police," he said.
Replying to a question if the Gurdaspur incident was the result of an intelligence failure, Gill said: "Intelligence inputs are of general nature and even in cases where specific information is available, there is lack of communication between those who get it and those who need to use it. The intelligence about infiltration, for instance in this case, would have never reached the Punjab Police."
SUCH SITUATIONS SHOULD NOT BE POLITICISED
"The sad part is that everything gets politicised. Even this incident is being used by politicians to criticise the working of the police. Politicians do not have the objectivity to go beyond their petty interests and give the police its due. When a policeman is fighting terrorists, he is not thinking who is ruling the state. His training is such that it gives him the urge to fight for the nation," said Gill.
When pointed out that the Punjab cops were neither trained nor equipped to handle the situation and SP Baljit Singh's life could have been saved had the situation been tackled professionally, Gill said it was impossible to expect perfection in such operations. "Every operation has its complications and mistakes made at the spur of the moment can be reduced only through sustained training," he added.
PUNJAB HAS REJECTED TERRORISM
When asked if terrorism would make a comeback in Punjab, Gill said Punjab's people had rejected terrorism. "That is their resolve and that is what matters. Just see how the driver of the bus attacked by the terrorists at Dinanagar saved the passengers' lives. There was all-round support to the police. There is a lobby which has been saying that Punjab terrorism was not handled in a right way. They are mischievous, motivated people. I have seen how life has come back on track after the end of terrorism in Punjab," he said.
Gill said there was an immediate need to revisit the manner in which the border with Pakistan has to be secured. The fencing on the border was done many years ago. Since then, so many technological advances have taken place and we need to adopt them to secure our borders.
ADVOCATES NEW ACT TO TACKLE TERRORISM
Calling for the formulation of a new act to tackle terrorism, Gill said the Constitution had no mention of terrorism. "As a nation, we never envisaged that we will have to deal with it at this level. It was only after the Punjab problem that TADA was introduced. After it was repealed, other provisions took care of the problem. But now, we need a strong law which will embrace all aspects of terrorism and if needed, special courts to dispose of the cases related to terrorism. It is unfortunate that our country took 20 years to execute a terrorist. This lowers the resolve of the nation," said Gill referring to the hanging of Yakub Memon.
On Punjab terrorists abroad
Woh sab jale hue kartoos hain (They are spent force). Pakistan keeps telling them to do something, but they are unable to do anything.
On writing a biography
I am not at the fag end of my life to write a biography.
On his 'romantic' disposition
There is a thing called old age. Gudaaz-e-ishq nahin kam jo main jawaan na raha, wahi hai aag magar aag mein dhuaan na raha.
On drug problem in Punjab
It is a problem in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as well. Why don't we see things in perspective before indulging in self-flagellation?
On commissions of inquiry
In my opinion, the train in Godhra was put on fire, but then so many commissions of inquiry said so many different things.
On politicisation of police
It is an all-India problem as a result of which the administration of the police suffers immensely.