Former lieutenant governor of Delhi and former chief secretary of Maharashta, PG Gavai died of brief illness in a private nursing home in Nagpur on Saturday morning. He was 83 and survived by two sons--- Madhusudan, an IFS officer and Kumar, a senior executive in a public undertaking and two daughters.
Gavai, who belonged to an illustrious family in Amravati, joined Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1950 and served several departments, including divisional commissioner of Nagpur, additional chief secretary (Home) and finally the chief secretary of the state. He was the state Home secretary during emergency.
The former bureaucrat, who belonged to a Dalit progressively family, was picked by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in early 80's. However, many did not appreciate his role in anti-Sikh riots. The Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice GT Nanavati in its report even blamed him for the lapses during the riot. Gavai was competent to call the Army during the riot, but he did not take the initiative, the report pointed out.
Gavai's brother MG Gavai was an IPS officer and retired as IGP of the state. His father, Ganesh Akkaji Gavai, was a senior leader of Hindu Mahasabha and served as the president of Amravati unit of the organisation.
Several dignitaries, including the state BJP chief Nitin Gadkari expressed shock and grief over his death. His last rites were performed at Ambazhari Ghat with state honour.