Superseded for top job triggered VRS: Kiran Bedi

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New Delhi, Nov 29: Supercop Kiran Bedi today admitted that being superseded for the Delhi Police Commissioner's post may have played a role in ''triggering her decision to quit the police force'' and said that she now wanted to become her own master and lead a fulfilling life devoted to social causes and educational research.

The first woman IPS officer, who recently applied for Voluntary Retirement from Service, said her quitting the job after 35 years was not a ''personal affair'' but gave an important message.

''I have received calls from so many police officials who have lauded my decision and said that they also want to quit the service, but for better choice.'' Though stating that not being given the prestigious job of Delhi Police Commissioner despite being the seniormost was not the ''sole reason'' behind her decision, the Director General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development said ''it may have indirectly played its role in triggering the decision.'' Refuting rumours that she quit as Home Minister Shivraj Patil did not fulfill his ''promise of giving her an important assignment'' in return for her joining back from her ''protest leave'' following Mr Y S Dadhwal's appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner, Ms Bedi said that it was not so.

''At that time also I had clarified that I was rejoining to give respect to the chair of the Home Minister and the person. There was no question of any promise or its not being fulfilled.'' Asked whether she had met the Home Minister before submitting her application for VRS, Ms Bedi said that she did not meet Mr Patil as he would have convinced her not to quit. And she was determined to ''be free and become master of my own time and destiny this time.'' Ms Bedi revealed that only her father and sister knew about her decision beforehand and she went on five days leave as her sister was coming to Delhi for a vacation and the media got a hint of her decision and highlighted it.

The supercop, who runs two NGOs and has written a book also, said she had strong reasons to leave the police force and she could do a lot of things with her time especially in the field of social service and educational research. She said she aims to aims to espouse many causes and express her creativity more effectively. However, Ms Bedi, who had earlier served a UN assignment, said she was not going for any international assignment.

Ms Bedi, who got Magsaysay award for her work on prison reforms as incharge of Tihar Jail, also initiated many research projects for police reforms during her tenure as the DG of BPR&D.

Highlighting the problems being faced by families of policemen, Ms Bedi said a two-day 'First National Workshop on Partnership in Police and Prison Research between Universities and BPR&D' being organised by MS University at Kanya Kumari from December 13 would highlight the issue.

She said pilot studies carried out by many universities including, Benaras Hindu University and Amity, has pointed out that though being educationally qualified, the families of policemen faced a number of problems related to stress of high pressure jobs.

They have revealed that wives of policemen mostly suffered from diabetes and hypertension which was result of stress and loneliness of handling the family affairs alone as husbands remain busy and have not much time for the family. The frustrations of the families of policemen and the apathy of the government and system towards them have been highlighted by these studies, she pointed out and said that the workshop would do brainstroming on these issues and recommend some possible resolutions.

It would also highlight the reasons behind the refusal by police stations to file FIRs as revealed during earlier pilot study and how to correct the situation, she added.

UNI

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