Geetha Johri appointed as first woman DGP of Gujarat
Ahmedabad, April 5: Senior Indian Police Service officer Geetha Johri was appointed Gujarat's new DGP-in-charge on April 4, becoming the state's first woman police chief as incumbent PP Pandey quit the post following the apex court's reservation against him.
A 1982-batch IPS officer, Johri had a controversial stint in the the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team appointed to probe the post-Godhra riots and was discharged as an accused in an alleged fake encounter case.
The apex court had on Tuesday asked the Gujarat government to accept Pandey's to relinquish the posts of director general and inspector general of police forthwith.
A 1980 batch Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, Pandey was on extension until April 30 this year and had made the offer to resign from the post after his removal was sought by former top cop Julio Francis Ribeiro in a plea to the apex court.
Ribeiro had sought his removal on the ground that the CBI had filed charge sheet against him and others in the case of alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan.
"Geetha Johri, managing director, Gujarat Police Housing Corporation, Gandhinagar, will hold the additional charge as director general and inspector general of police, Gujarat state, Gandhinagar, in addition to her duty as managing director, GPHC," the official order said.
It also stated the government is 'pleased to superannuate and revoke the extension of P P Pandey, Anti-Corruption Bureau director, Ahmedabad, and Director General and Inspector General-in-charge of Gujarat state, Gandhinagar from April 4, 2017 (after office hours)'.
While making the announcement, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said the government has accepted Pandey's resignation.
As per the government records, Johri was born on November 28, 1957. In her career spanning almost 35 years, Johri has seen many ups and downs. In the beginning of her career, she came into limelight while serving as Ahmedabad DCP in mid-1990s.
At that time, she had raided the den of slain underworld don Abdul Latif in highly-sensitive Dariyapur area and had caught his key aide Sharif Khan. Recently, she was in news for her role in the SIT probing the post-Godhra riots and as the investigation officer in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter cases.
In 2010, the Supreme Court had asked Johri to dissociate herself from the SIT probing the post-Godhra riots after the victims alleged her of bias. In 2015, a special CBI court in Mumbai had dropped charges against Johri in alleged fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin and Prajapati of 2005 and 2006 respectively for want of mandatory sanction from the Gujarat government for her prosecution.
The CBI had alleged that Johri delayed investigations into the Prajapati case and destroyed some case records. The government had promoted her from the rank of additional DGP to DGP the same year.
She had filed an FIR on the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and sudden disappearance of his wife Kausar Bi, which had eventually led to the arrest of the three erstwhile IPS officers, including D G Vanzara.
Addressing the media in Gandhinagar, Johri said her priority would be addressing the problems faced by the women and maintaining law and order in the state.
"I will assume the office immediately. Being the first woman DGP of the state, my priority will be to address the women's problems. They can come to me anytime and I will try my best to solve their problems," she said.
She said though Gujarat has a peaceful atmosphere, it will be her duty to maintain law and order. "Since this is an election year, I will have to ensure peace during the polls," the officer said.