New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday exhorted the people of the state to work for its peace and progress as a true tribute to former DGP KPS Gill.
Gill, who is credited with crushing terrorism in Punjab, had succumbed to a kidney ailment on May 26 at the age of 82.
People from all walks of life today paid homage to Gill at his bhog ceremony (post-death ritual) here.
Amarinder described him as a brave son of Punjab who fought terrorism by providing the much-needed leadership to state police.
The Punjab chief minister hoped that young police officers will draw inspiration from him and emulate him.
Amarinder said that history will record his contribution and "you will see that KPS Gill will be there as a shining light in those dark period of my state".
"At the Bhog ceremony of ex-DGP KPS Gill ji, feeling sad at the passing of an era, we can never forget what he did for us in Punjab," he later tweeted.
Remembering Gill's contribution to the state, he recalled his first meeting with him in Assam where he was then SP Tezpur, and was determined to give a befitting reply to the Chinese army?s incursion into the sector. He said the man knew how to lead from the front, whatever the threat.
Gill was a leader who built the morale and awakened the state police as there was a sense of demoralisation in those days of terrorism, the CM said.
"Leadership comes seldom. But leaders shine through the mist of time. There was a time when leadership was much required in Punjab Police and Gill provided that moral booster to the police and rooted out terrorism.
"A true tribute to him would be to maintain peace in Punjab for which he gave away his youth. It is sad as I have lost a friend," he said.
The Chief Minister said those who had not lived through the days of militancy, when more than 35,000 people were killed, could not really understand his contribution to the state.
He also recalled how Gill launched operation night dominance to restore the confidence of the people and things started changing thereafter.
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said the way Gill led the police force during the days of terrorism made him a "messiah" in their eyes.
He recalled first meeting Gill, who was an IG then, while he was as ASP.
"He led us during days of terrorism. For Punjab Police, he never retired. I used to consult him even after his retirement. The real tribute to him would be to let us maintain peace and tranquility in the state, for which he strived. And we are working towards it," Arora said.
Former Punjab Minister and BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla described Gill as "Punjab ka Jarnail (General), a protector of Punjab and who slayed terrorism".
She said his value is known to those who have suffered at the hands of terrorism. She said he was not given a free hand in Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh, where he was appointed as security adviser post retirement.
"Those who do not acknowledge him, don't love Punjab," she said.
People from all walks of life, including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Punjab Ministers and MLAs, MPs, former Punjab Police chief Paramdeep Singh Gill, and a number of serving and retired police and civil officers, attended the bhog ceremony at Constitution Club here.