THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: R Sreelekha, who had become Kerala’s first woman IPS officer in 1987 and is currently the ADGP (Prisons), will now hold the distinction of being the state’s first woman DGP.
The Cabinet on Wednesday also decided to promote three other senior ADGPs — Tomin J Thachankary (DG, Fire and Rescue Services), Arun Kumar Sinha (currently on Central deputation) and Sudesh Kumar (Armed Police Battalion) to the top rank.
The postings of the four officers, whose names were cleared by the selection committee for promotion after them having completed 30 years in service, will depend on the vacancies that arise. The state thus will now have 12 DGP-ranked officers.
It was my mother who brought me up to this stature: Sreelekha
Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Sreelekha joined the police service in January 1987 after working as a lecturer and bank officer.
She has served as District Superintendent of Police in three districts and was promoted as Deputy Inspector General and served in various posts in the state and on central deputations. She also worked with the CBI for four years as Superintendent of Police in the state and DIG in New Delhi.
Speaking to ‘Express’, Sreelekha shared her delight and expressed her gratitude to her mother. For Sreelekha, it was her mother who groomed her to become a police officer.
“I am extremely proud to get promoted as the first woman DGP. It is a great achievement. Big thanks to my mother. She is the one who brought me up to this stature,” Sreelekha said. She also shared a memorable incident.
A young trainee who had just passed the civil service exam and got elected into IPS from another state approached Sreelekha for her blessings. “It was a cloud nine moment when the girl told me that she wants to be like me. It is more than any compliment that I ever received. I felt so proud at that moment. Her parents also sought blessings from me for their daughter,” Sreelekha said.
Sreelekha also earned the name ‘Raid Sreelekha’ during her service in the CBI. She received the Kerala Government’s Meritorious Services Award for detecting a sensational murder case in 2007.
Born to Prof N Velayudhan Nair and B Radhamma on December 25, 1960, Sreelekha is married to Dr Sethunath, a Professor of Paediatric Surgery at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram.
The couple has a son, Gokul, who is an MBA student. She did her schooling at Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School and completed her bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the Women’s College Thiruvananthapuram and Masters from the University Institute of English. She has also penned and published nine books.
12 DGPs for state now
The other DGPs are Loknath Behera (State Police Chief), Jacob Thomas (IMG Director), N C Asthana (Modernisation), Rishiraj Singh (Excise Commissioner), A Hemachandran (Crimes), B S Mohammed Yasin (Intelligence chief), N Sanker Reddy (State Crime Record Bureau) and Rajesh Dewan (North Zone).
The state has only two sanctioned cadre posts - State Police Chief and Vigilance - both of which are held by Loknath Behera. IMG Director and Excise Commissioner are ex-cadre DGP posts. The remaining DGP ranks have been constituted by the state using its discretionary power.