Rashmi Shukla, a 1988-batch IPS officer, took charge as the 48th DGP of Maharashtra on Tuesday, making her the first woman officer to head the state police. “I am starting afresh and on a positive note,” she said while talking to media persons soon after.
Shukla had a tumultuous relationship with the government when Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance was in power. Two FIRs were registered against her on charges of allegedly recording phone calls of opposition leaders while she was the state intelligence chief. The FIRs were eventually quashed by the Bombay High Court.
When asked by media persons about her appointment, NCP leader Sharad Pawar said the precaution they will have to take will be to ensure that their phones are not tapped.
Speaking to the media, Shukla said, “Maharashtra is known to have good law and order and my priority will be to ensure that it continues. Women’s safety is also going to be an area of focus. Another new challenge is the newer forms of cyber-crime and we will take steps to curb it. Further, we also want to reduce deaths on highways due to accidents. These are my priorities as the state DGP.”
On being asked by the media about comments made by the opposition leaders on her being appointed as the state DGP, Shukla said, “It is a new year and I want to begin afresh on a positive note. I have spent 33 years in the state and was away for two years.” On being asked about returning to the state she said, “I am very happy as this is my house. I have spent 33 years in the state.”
Shukla has over the past five years seen several twists and turns. Seen as a blue-eyed officer of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, she had served as Pune police commissioner and later went on to serve as the head of State Intelligence Department (SID), a post which usually sees the appointment of officers considered close to those in power.
After the MVA government came to power, she was transferred to a non-executive post following which she went on central deputation. Later, the MVA government registered two FIRs against her which were eventually quashed by the Bombay High Court last year paving the way for her appointment as the state DGP.