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Meet Gujarat's first female DGP Geetha Johri, who probed Sohrabuddin fake encounter case

Geetha Johri, Gujarat's newly appointed Deputy General of Police has scored many firsts to her credit. Gujarat's first female IPS officer, on Tuesday, also became the state's first woman DGP after the outgoing DGP-in-charge PP Pandey decided to step down due to the litigation against him.

Pandey, a 1980 batch Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, had made headlines after he was accused in the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan. He is presently out on bail.

Geetha Johri. News18

Geetha Johri. News18

However, Johri had her own stint with grabbing headlines, litigation and controversies.

The 1982-batch IPS officer first shot to limelight in 1992 when she raided the premises of Gujarat underworld don Abdul Latif and arresting his key aide Sharif Khan, reportedly defying her seniors' orders, according to a report in The Times of India. Johri was at the time serving as the deputy commissioner of police in Gandhinagar. However, following her several reported clashes with her seniors and prominent politicians, she was shunted into heading the police training academy in Vadodara.

The next cornerstone of her career came through her meticulous investigations into the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and the disappearance of his wife Kausar Bi, in 2006, while she was serving at a 'low profile' rank in CID Crime Branch, according to The Indian Express. It was Johri's investigation that established the fact that not only was Kausar bi missing but that the encounter was fake. Later, the same case created flutters and led to the arrests of 13 police officers including prominent IPS officers such as DGP Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandian, even as the investigation was taken away from her. In the same case, Johri again found herself at loggerheads with her superiors after she arrested the deputy superintendent of police NK Amin and was subsequently asked to report directly to the apex court, according to The Times of India article quoted earlier.

Later, Johri was implicated in the ensuing litigation for 'destroying crucial evidence' in the same case that she famously got the breakthrough, leading to a CBI probe against her. However, interestingly all charges against her were dropped by a CBI court, just days before her promotion, as the probe agency "failed to obtain the mandatory sanction from the Gujarat government for prosecution of an IPS officer," according to The Indian Express. 

In 2010, Johri raised serious allegations by claiming that not only her superiors were trying to interfere with her investigation but the CBI was "pressuring her to falsely implicate the former Gujarat Minister, Amit Shah," as reported in The Hindu at the time. She claimed that the CBI had implicated her in the case, only in a bid to pressurise her further to mould her investigation to suit particular political interests.

Before she was promoted as the Gujarat DGP, she was serving as the managing director of the Gujarat Police Housing Board, a position she will continue to hold, according to NDTV India.

Published Date: Apr 04, 2017 15:39 PM | Updated Date: Apr 04, 2017 19:13 PM

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