Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya, India’s first women Director General of Police (DGP), passed way in Mumbai on Monday night after a brief illness. She was 72.
Bhattacharya had been hospitalized in Mumbai for over five months.
In a first, 1973 batch woman IPS officer, Bhattacharya was appointed the DGP of Uttarakhand in the year 2004. She was the second woman IPS in the country after Kiran Bedi, After retirement on October 31, 2007, she entered politics by contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha election on an Aam Aadmi Party’s ticket from Haridwar constituency but was not able to win.
She is survived by her husband and two daughters. Her last rites will be performed later today.
A native of Amritsar, Bhattacharya was determined to join the police force and struggled a lot to achieve her dreams.
Tele serial, “Udaan” made by her younger sister Kavita Chaudhary was a hugely popular show bringing to fore her life and struggles as a policewoman. Bhattacharya also made a guest appearance on the show.
On Tuesday, the Uttarakhand Police condoled Bhattacharya’s death and also recalled her great contributions during her tenure as DGP.
The IPS Association (IPSA) in a statement mourned the demise of “one of our icons, the first lady DGP and the second lady IPS officer of India. An officer with sterling qualities of head and heart, she had an illustrious career, adorned with many first and awards.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his condolence message tweeted, “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.”
Bhattacharya was awarded the President’s Police Medal in 1997, served with the CISF and represented India at an Interpol meet in Mexico in 2004, during her 33-year-long police career.