Senior IPS officer Geetha Johri has been appointed as the new Gujarat DGP on Tuesday following the resignation of incumbent P P Pandey. PP Pandey had to resign following the filing of a PIL in Supreme Court that questioned the appointment of a chargesheeted officer as top police officer of the state.
Johri, a 1982-batch IPS officer, is the first woman to become the Gujarat police chief. At present, the 59-year-old is the Managing Director of Gujarat State Police Housing Corporation (GSPHC), a post she will continue to hold.
Making the announcement at Gandhinagar, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said the government has accepted the resignation of Pandey.
Johri will replace Pandey, who had to put in his papers after his appointment was challenged by former top cop Julio Riberio in the Supreme Court.
Riberio had filed a plea seeking a direction for removal of Pandey on several grounds including that CBI had filed charge sheet against him and others in the case of alleged fake encounter killing of Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan. He had also challenged Pandey’s extension as in-charge DGP.
“We have accepted the resignation of P P Pandey. Our Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today appointed Geetha Johri, the senior most IPS officer at present, as the new DGP in-charge of Gujarat,” said Jadeja.
The minister said Johri would continue to serve as the MD of GSPHC.
Yesterday, Pandey, a 1980 batch Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, expressed his willingness to step down, an offer accepted by the state government.
As per the government records, Johri was born on November 28, 1957.
Talking to the media after being appointed to the top post, she said her priority will be to address problems faced by women and to maintain law and order.
“I will assume the office immediately. Being the first woman DGP of the state, my priority will be to address the problems of women. They can come to me anytime and I will try my best to solve their problems,” she said in Gandhinagar.
“Gujarat already has a peaceful atmosphere. It will be my duty to maintain law and order. Since this is an election year, I will have to ensure peace during polls,” she added.
In her career spanning almost 35 years, Johri has seen many ups and downs.
In the beginning of her career, she shot into limelight while serving as DCP in the city during mid 1990s.
At that time, she raided the den of slain underworld don Abdul Latif in highly sensitive Dariyapur area and managed to catch Latif’s key aide Sharif Khan.
In the recent past, she was in news for her role in the SIT probing post-Godhra riots and as investigating officer in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter cases.
In 2010, the Supreme Court asked Johri to dissociate herself from the SIT probing the post-Godhra riots following some allegations.
In 2015, a special CBI court dropped charges against Johri in connection with the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati fake encounter cases for want of mandatory sanction from the Gujarat government for her prosecution.
The CBI had alleged Johri delayed investigations into the Prajapati case and destroyed some case records.
In the same year, the government promoted Johri from the rank of Additional DGP to DGP.
Johri had filed the first investigation report in the apex court on the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and sudden disappearance of his wife Kausar Bi which eventually led to the arrest of three then serving IPS officers, including D G Vanzara.