Monika Bhardwaj, who belongs to the IPS batch of 2009, has been appointed as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the Delhi Crime Branch. This makes her the first woman to assume this role. She is in the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) at present.
This landmark decision has been hailed by police officers all over the country, with some believing that this move will foster confidence among other women officers in the police force.
However, some feel it is unfair to give precedence to her gender over her capabilities. Former DCP North West Delhi, Aslam Khan IPS, was quoted saying, "She is an officer. What's the fuss about a first lady officer? Stop discriminating. We are officers and we do work hard to prove ourselves."
Thrilled with her appointment, Monika, in an interview with YourStory, has shared, “It feels good not only as a woman but also as an officer to become DCP for the Delhi Crime Branch. The Crime Branch gives the scope to hit the crime at the base and gives you the time, space, and the resources. In district policing, it is more about day-to-day policing."
Monika’s work was earlier lauded when she tactfully handled the violence between lawyers and police personnel in Tis Hazari Court in Old Delhi. In a CCTV footage released last November, the woman officer can be seen pleading before a group of agitated lawyers with folded hands to put an end to the violent clash that erupted due to an alleged parking dispute.
Monika, who belongs to Haryana, is a third-generation police officer; her father and paternal grandfather were also police officers.
"I came into the Indian Police Services (IPS) taking the word 'services' very seriously. The two main jobs of a police officer are to ensure peace by maintaining law and order, and to deliver justice. Policing gives you the power over people's lives to help someone who is facing a problem,” she has said.
A Computer Science graduate from Delhi University, her first posting in Delhi was as the Additional DCP (West) a few years ago. Inspired by Kiran Bedi, who was the first woman to become an IPS officer, Monika wants to follow in her footsteps.
Mother to four-year-old twins, Monika was contracted with COVID-19 infection in May; she recovered in a few days. She was Delhi Police DCP (North) at the time.
Through her contribution in the police force, Monika wants to motivate other women to join the services and work for the nation. "I encourage more women to join police forces because it is important. We are 50 percent of the population and struggling at 8 to 10 percent in the police forces,” she added.
(Edited by Athira Nair)