He hung up his boots as director general of Punjab police in December 1995 after successfully dealing with the decade-long militancy there. But Kanwar Pal Singh Gill is back in action, having taken over as security advisor to the Gujarat government last fortnight. In a state torn apart by horrific communal violence over two months, Gill has a difficult task cut out for him. His critics say that Gill's role in his new position is not defined; that he may not have the full backing of the local police, which at best is demoralised and worst, accused of being involved in the rioting. Even more important: unlike Punjab, he does not have the carte blanche to chart out his own independent course of action. Could his and chief minister Narendra Modi's interests clash? His stay in Gujarat seems set on a controversial course with the Congress not inclined to help out with his request for personnel from Punjab. In an interview to Ranjit Bhushan, Gill says he is confident of restoring peace in the state but says he has not set himself a deadline to achieve that objective. Excerpts:
What would you describe as your immediate priority in Gujarat?
To stop the violence. Normalcy can be restored only if the killings stop. That is my top priority. Once the killings stop, we can proceed from there towards normalcy.