An all-woman contingent of Himachal Pradesh Police during a motorcycle show in Shimla to mark Women’s Day. The state is among the first in the country to have recruited women in its police service. (HT Photo)
An all-woman contingent of Himachal Pradesh Police during a motorcycle show in Shimla to mark Women’s Day. The state is among the first in the country to have recruited women in its police service. (HT Photo)

Himachal celebrates role of women police personnel

28 officers to be felicitated as all-women contingent, motorcycle show take centrestage on the Ridge
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 10:11 AM IST

In its golden jubilee year, Himachal Pradesh is celebrating the contribution of its women police personnel this Women’s Day. It is among the first states in the country to have recruited policewomen.

Congratulating the personnel, state police chief Sanjay Kundu said on Monday, “As Himachal Pradesh celebrates 50 years of statehood, this time we are celebrating the contribution of our women colleagues.”

Twenty-eight women officers will be felicitated by governor Bandaru Dattatreya at a programme on the Ridge in Shimla. Besides the parade by an all-woman contingent and a motorcycle show, the programme will showcase the journey of women cops from the grassroots to the highest ranks in uniform.

Pioneers become role models

Rani Devi, 66, was among the first three women to have joined the police as a constable in 1973, inspiring many to follow suit. Rani served the police for 40 years before retiring as deputy superintendent of police in 2013.

“My service in the police force makes me feel proud even today. I’m glad that many young women went on to choose a life in uniform and serve the country,” she said.

In November 1975 when Himachal Pradesh was just four years old, the state police recruited its second batch of 27 women.

Major milestones in journey to top

Punita Bhardwaj joined the Himachal Pradesh Police Service in 1986 and set another benchmark in the history of the state’s police. She was inducted into the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 2001 and was awarded the police medal for meritorious service in 2011.

Satwant Atwal Trivedi became the first woman IPS officer in the state in 1996 and went on to become the first woman superintendent of police at Una besides the first woman officer from the state to serve the National Investigation Agency and Border Security Force. She is credited with initiating the implementation of artificial intelligence in the BSF. A gold medallist in clinical psychology and German, at present she heads the BSF’s intelligence directorate and is the joint secretary of National Intelligence Grid or (Natgrid) to counter terrorism.

Other women who have done the state police proud include Gulshan Negi, who became the first woman assistant sub inspector in 1994, and Babita Rana, the additional superintendent of police at Sirmaur at present, who was the first woman sub inspector in 1996. She was the first woman officer to head a police station at Kihar in Chamba.

Bollywood in praise of state police

Actors Hema Malini, Anupam Kher, Aruna Irani Aamir Khan, singer Hans Raj Hans and director Prakash Jha have felicitated women police personnel on the occasion. In video messages, they congratulated Kundu for organising the event in Shimla to recognise the contribution of women cops. “Women empowerment leads to a strong nation,” said Kher, who is from Shimla.

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