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India's first woman DGP who inspired Udaan passes away

Source: PTI
August 27, 2019 20:20 IST
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Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya, the country's first woman director general of police and whose inspiring true life story was adapted into a popular tele-serial Udaan aired on Doordarshan in late 80s, died in a Mumbai hospital after prolonged illness. She was 72.

Chaudhary breathed her last late on Monday night at a private hospital in Mumbai, a police official said, adding she is survived by her husband and two daughters.

She was undergoing medical treatment for prolonged illness since the last few months, the Uttarakhand Police said in a tweet.


The state police also remembered Chaudhary, a 1973 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, as the first woman DGP of any state in the country.

The IPS Association in a tweet remembered her for her 'sterling qualities of head and heart', and an illustrious career 'adorned with many firsts and awards'.

'We mourn the demise of one of our icons, the first lady DGP and second lady IPS officer of India, Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya,' the association said in the tweet.

Born in Himachal Pradesh, Chaudhary was the country's second woman IPS officer after Kiran Bedi.

She led the Uttarakhand Police force as DGP from 2004 to October 31, 2007.

During her 33-year-long career, she handled some sensitive cases, including the killing of national badminton champion Syed Modi and the Reliance-Bombay Dyeing case.

She earlier served as the Inspector General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

In 1997, she was awarded the President's police medal for distinguished service.

She made a guest appearance in 'Udaan' aired on Doordarshan in late 80s, which was based on her life, showing her struggles to become an IPS officer.

The serial was one of the first shows on Indian television to deal with the subject of women empowerment.

The serial was written and directed by her younger sister Kavita Chaudhary who also played the protagonist.

After retirement, she joined the Aam Aadmi Party and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Haridwar.

Her last rites will be performed at the Worli crematorium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya condoled the death of Kanchan Chaudhary, saying she symbolised women empowerment.

"She was a living example of women empowerment and will remain a role model for generations of women. By rising to the top in the police force she proved there was nothing women could not achieve," the governor said in a condolence message.

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