Who was Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya? Fearless IPS officer who went on to become country’s first woman DGP

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August 27, 2019 1:50 PM

Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya has joined Aam Aadmi Party after retirement. She had contested Lok Sabha polls in 2014 from Hardiwar. However, she had lost to BJP's Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya DGPFirst woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya passes away.

Country’s first woman Director General of Police (DGP) Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya passed away on Monday night following a brief illness in Mumbai. She is survived by her husband and two daughters. The family lives in Mumbai. Kanchan was a 1973-batch IPS officer. She scripted history when she was appointed as the DGP of Uttarakhand in 2004, becoming the first woman to be appointed to the post. She retired as the DGP in October 2007. She also held the distinction of being the second the woman IPS officer in the country after Kiran Bedi, now the Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Puducherry.

The Uttarakhand Police took to Twitter to offer condolences and remember her contribution to the police force. “Uttarakhand Police expresses condolences on her demise and remembers her phenomenal contribution,” it said.

After retirement from service, Kanchan ventured into politics and joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also condoled the death of Kanchan. “Saddened to know about the passing away of the country’s first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya. She remained active in public life after her retirement and wanted to serve the country till her very last. Will miss her,” tweeted Aam Aadmi Party national convener.

The AAP had fielded her in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Haridwar parliamentary seat. She, however, lost to BJP’s Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. She had lost her deposit as she had come a distant fourth securing just 18,170 votes.

Kanchan hailed from Amritsar in Punjab. Determined to become a police officer since her childhood days, Kanchan fought bias against women during her 33 years of service. It was due to her initiative that women home guards were given the responsibility of manning traffic points in cities.

Kanchan had had also served as an inspector general in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

In 1997, Kanchan was awarded the President’s police medal for distinguished service. She was also the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi award for Excellent All-Round Performance. Kanchan had also represented India during the Interpol meeting held in Mexico in 2004.

Besides, she had successfully handled some sensitive cases like the murder of badminton champion Syed Modi and the Reliance-Bombay Dyeing case.

Kanchan had made a guest appearance on tv series “Udaan” that aired on Doordarshan from 1989 to 1991. The TV series was directed by Kanchan’s sister Kavita Chaudhary.

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