THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Transport Commissioner R Sreelekha, who was elevated to the DGP rank on Wednesday, is Kerala’s first woman IPS officer to reach the DGP post. A 1987 batch officer, she is also the first woman IPS officer of Kerala. It was in September 2017 that four IPS officers of the 1987 batch including R Sreelekha, Tomin Thachankary, Arun Kumar Sinha and Sudesh Kumar were cleared for promotion to the DGP rank. Since Kerala has only four DGP posts — two cadre and two ex-cadre — the promotion was pending. A recipient of President’s police medal, she’s also a writer. N Sankar Reddy, who has been promoted with her, is a 1986 batch officer.
The new Chief Secretary, Vishwas Mehta, has been leading the state’s fight against Covid-19 by heading various coordination teams formed in this regard. A native of Udaipur, he began his service in Kerala as Assistant Collector in Kollam. He served with different union ministries on central deputation. It was in 2019 April that he was posted as home secretary. Currently, Mehta is the senior-most IAS officer in the state after Tom Jose. Though there are three other officials — Anant Kumar of 1984 batch, Ajaya Kumar and Indrajith Singh (1985 batch) — senior to him, all three are on Central deputation.
The transfer of Thiruvananthapuram Collector K Gopalakrishnan comes in the wake of recent controversies and his tussle with political leadership over opening of Aruvikkara dam shutters. There was criticism against him from various corners over implementation of Covid prevention measures. However noticeably he has been posted as Collector of Malappuram, which is becoming a major focal point in Covid-19 fight.