Gujarat’s first woman IPS officer Geetha Johri was appointed the state police chief on Tuesday. She replaced PP Pandey, who stepped down as state DGP after his appointment and extension was challenged through a PIL in the Supreme Court. Pandey was one of the accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
Her promotion as state’s first woman police chief comes two years after CBI court acquitted her in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. Then, an additional DGP rank officer, Johri was promoted to DGP rank days after the CBI court verdict in March 2015. She is currently managing director of the Gujarat Police Housing Board and was scheduled to retire in November, according to a report in Ahmedabad Mirror.
A 1982 batch officer, Johri shot to fame after she took on mafia don Abdul Latif. She raided his house in Dariapur district in September 1992 and arrested his henchman Sharif Khan. However, Latif managed to flee.
In 1998, She was transferred to the Training Academy at Vadodara also seen by many as punishment posting after she refused to toe the line of political bigwigs in the investigation of a case,
In 2006, Johri was the supervisory officer in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter and the killing of his wife Kausarbi, after Shorabuddin’s brother filed a petition in Supreme Court seeking probe in the case. Johri’s detailed inquiry confirmed that Sohrabuddin was killed in a fake encounter and later implicated the involvement of several cops in the case. The probe led to the arrest of 13 police officers, including ex-Gujarat cop DIG DG Vanzara, SP Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN.
Later on, after the case was transferred to CBI following court order, the central probe agency chargesheeted her allegedly for botching up the investigation. The CBI also alleged that she “under her supervision, she projected that the third person abducted along with Sohrabuddin and Kauserbi was one Kalimuddin and not Tulsiram Prajapati.”
CBI also accused her of giving illegal instructions to the I.O.(investigating officer), “at the instance of the Minister of State (Home), Gujarat.
In 2010, Johri accused the Central Bureau of Investigation of “pressurising her into falsely implicating former Gujarat Minister, Amit Shah, in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case,”, The Hindu had reported. In 2014, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was exonerated of charges in connection with the case.
Later, Johri moved discharge application before the special CBI court in Mumbai. In 2015, the special court allowed her application and discharged her from the case.