From being the first female IPS (Indian Police Service) officer of Kerala to the first female Director-General of Police (DGP), R Sreelekha IPS has created many historic moments. On Thursday, the IPS officer announced her retirement from the service, ending 33 years of her distinguished service in the police force. R Sreelekha’s retirement comes seven months after she was elevated to the post of DGP of Kerala Fire And Rescue Services.
The 1987 batch IPS officer is the first female officer in Kerala cadre. She has held many key positions, starting off her career as the Superintendent of Police (SP) at Cherthala in Alappuzha district of Kerala. Following this, she was appointed as the SP in districts such as Thrissur, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha. Later, she served in the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) and then the Crime Branch as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Inspector General of Police (IG) and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP).
Sreelekha IPS was heading the Prisons and Correctional Services Department as ADGP when she got posted as DGP in June 2020.
Sreelekha IPS has also held the post of Transport Commissioner. She has also headed government bodies like Rubber Marketing Federation, Kerala State Construction Corporation and Roads and Bridges Development Corporation.
The IPS officer is known to have brought in many notable initiatives. It was during her period as the head of VACB, that Vigilance started flash raids or inspections for the first time. It was the Sreelekha who headed the team in VACB that held the ‘Operation Annapurna’, finding the corruption at state-owned Consumerfed (Kerala State Co-operative Consumers Federation Limited). The operation, held in 2013, had reportedly found that Consumerfed was procuring essential commodities from private entities for a higher rate than the market price for two years.
The IPS officer was also known to have authored many books, including the detective novel ‘Maranadhoothan’ (Messenger of Death). The second edition of the book released in 2008, was published in January 2020.
As Sreelekha retired on Thursday, she told her colleagues not to arrange any farewell event for her. “She is retiring after giving in writing that she does not want any farewell functions from the police or IPS associations,” a post by the official Facebook page of Fire and Rescue Department stated.
Watch video: TEDx talk by R Sreelekha IPS