Canadian agency grant for KPS Gill

August 11, 2005 | Comments Off on Canadian agency grant for KPS Gill

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a federal body, has granted an $85,000 grant to the Institute of Conflict Management headed by KPS Gill, the controversial former Punjab Director General of Police who organized systematic human rights abuses in Punjab. The Institute of Conflict Management is a New Delhi-based think tank founded by KPS Gill, and is using the funds to study “development, conflict and resolution — including the evolution and dynamics of the underground terrorist economy.”


During the 1984 to 1995 period of counter-insurgency in India, the Punjab police under Gill used brutal tactics against thousands of Punjabi Sikhs, including torture, extrajudical execution, arbitrary arrests, “disappearances,” and illegal cremations. These counter-insurgency policies, which Human Rights Watch has said “appeared to justify any and all means, including torture and murder,” were advocated by KPS Gill as leader of the police.



In a report entitled Arms and Abuses in Punjab, Human Rights Watch says that “in their zeal to suppress the militant Sikh movement, Indian government forces, under the leadership of Punjab Director General of Police K.P.S. Gill, have continued to commit serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law.”


The report alleges that Mr. Gill personally introduced a system of bounties and rewards for police officers who killed Sikh militants, “a practice which, not surprisingly, has encouraged extrajudicial killings and disappearances.”


KPS Gill’s quota for murders is discussed in chapter two of Reduced to Ashes. In it, a former SSP reveals in an interview that under Gill, the more people each police officer killed, the higher he was promoted:



Every SSP had to report: I have killed 14. The other who said I have killed 28 was appreciated more.


The interview also revealed the banal world of torture and murder that, in the name of counter-insurgency, had become a routine for a set of police officers to obtain good, powerful positions.


Witnes testimony has also implicated Gill in the murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra, a human rights activist who was “disappeared” by the Punjab police in 1995. Throughout the trial, which is still taking place, witnesses have faced intimidation from the police such as threats against their lives and false cases registered against them and their families. Despite testimony that places Gill in the same room as Khalra on the day of his death, the CBI has not placed his name on the chargesheet, and the court has not summoned him. KPS Gill now works as an expert consultant on terrorism, and is called a “super cop” for his role in the counter-insurgency movement.


Recently, India’s Supreme Court upheld Gill’s 1998 sexual harassment conviction and ordered him to pay more than $4,500 to a female civil servant that he sexually harassed in 1988. He had been sentenced to a three-month prison term in 1998, but it was later commuted to a year of probation.


Regarding the Canadian grant to KPS Gill’s organization, the former Canadian federal cabinet minister Herb Dhaliwal said:



“I think people will be very unhappy, and some may even be outraged that Canadian money is going to [the] program . . .”


CIDA should reconsider its support for the Institute of Conflict Management, he said.


Sukh Preet Singh, a member of the executive committee of Dasmesh Gurdwara in Surrey, B.C., expressed his outrage:



“What they’d [Punjab state police] do is they’d arrest young Sikh men, militant or not militant, and after torturing and beating them they’d be killed and a story would be made up that this was a Sikh militant who tried fighting back.”


Mr. Singh added, “Here’s a man who’s responsible for this stuff and he’s getting our taxpayers’ money.”


The CIDA spokesman, Cl


Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind