India Insight

Should K.P.S. Gill be stripped of his medals?

Media reports saying that the central government may take away the medals of police officers convicted of crimes have had an unexpected impact.

A policeman holds a submachine gun during a function in Mumbai August 27, 2009. REUTERS/Arko DattaThis puts former Punjab DGP and “super cop” Kanwar Pal Singh Gill (better known as K.P.S. Gill) in the same dock as S.P.S. Rathore, the former Haryana police chief convicted of molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra.

Is such a step justified?

Gill, convicted in 1996 for misbehaving with an IAS officer, has said it is not right to strip officers of medals with retrospective effect. The former DGP also said he won’t be bothered if his medals are taken away.

Since officers are supposed to show exemplary conduct at all times, stripping them of medals may very well be the correct step.

At the same time, the medals may have been given in recognition of duties performed as police officers — perhaps for general conduct as officers or for specific acts of bravery.

Sushil Kumar gets India its second medal at Beijing Olympics

Sushil KumarIndia is no longer the “one-medal nation”. Sushil Kumar ensured that by winning a bronze medal on Wednesday, just a week after shooter Abhinav Bindra struck gold in Beijing.

Kumar beat Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan in a bronze medal bout of the men’s 66kg freestyle wrestling event.

Bindra had won India’s first ever individual Olympic gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle event on August 11.