Senior Kerala IPS officer R Sreelekha has become the first woman from her state to be accorded the rank of a Director General of Police (DGP). She along with three other senior officials was promoted by the Pinarayi Vijayan government, joining eight other officials who hold the same rank. The newly-promoted officers will be assigned new postings subject to vacancies.
Sreelekha is currently serving as Additional Director General (Prisons). She shot to fame after becoming the first woman to become an IPS officer from her state in 1987. Prior to donning the khaki, Sreelekha worked as a lecturer and as a Grade B officer in the Reserve Bank. Popularly known as ‘Raid Sreelekha’, she served as police chiefs of Thrissur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta before joining the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Sreelekha also served as the Inspector-General of Police (IG) in the Ernakulam range and the Crime Branch. In 2001, she represented India at the United Nations to prepare the protocol for prevention of trafficking of women. The senior police officer also underwent training at the Scotland Yard in the UK.
In 2013, Sreelekha was conferred with the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service for her excellent record as the ADG in vigilance and anti-corruption bureau. As the Transport Commissioner of Kerala, she was hailed for her efforts in reducing deaths due to road accidents and promote safety parameters. However, she also faced allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct and abuse of position during her stint. On September 12, the anti-corruption court acquitted her of all charges as the inquiry found no evidence against her.
It should be noted that Sreelekha has been promoted along with fellow cop Tomin J Thachankary, whom she has been at loggerheads for the past several years. The latter had succeeded her as the transport commissioner and was accused of mentally harassing the lady cop. Thachankary termed the allegations as baseless.
Besides having a distinguished career as a police officer, Sreelekha has authored nine books in Malayalam, including three on criminal investigations.
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