The army should not have been used in anti-insurgency operations in Punjab and Assam as it created mistrust between security forces and civil society, former director general of police KPS Gill said on Sunday.
"Operation Bluestar in Punjab and Operation Bajrang in Assam were not necessary," Gill said.
"The operations were hijacked from the police administration, creating mistrust between the police, security forces and civil society. As a result, many innocent people lost their lives," he added.
The former Punjab Police chief said the police should have been given a chance to deal with the problem.
"The police could have dealt with it, if more power was given to them and if they had cooperation from all concerned, including the government and society," Gill said during his visit here as the chief patron of the North East Sports Foundation.
Operation Bluestar was carried out by the army to clear the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar of Sikh militants in 1984.
Gill, who had served in Assam, claimed Bangladeshi infiltration has always been a major concern in the region and was the main cause of the different agitations.
"There is an urgent need to check Bangladeshi infiltration as extremists from the North East have taken advantage of this situation, using Bangladesh as a major hideout over the years to make the region a trouble-torn area," he added.
"When I was the superintendent of police in Nowgong district from 1961 to 1964, I detected about 1 lakh suspected Bangladeshi nationals," the former police official said.