Meghalaya’s first woman police chief urges force to remain accessible to citizens | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Meghalaya’s first woman police chief urges force to remain accessible to citizens

ByDavid Laithphlang
May 19, 2024 05:17 PM IST

Nongrang will be Meghalaya’s police chief until May 19, 2026, supervising the state’s law enforcement agencies and upholding law and order

Shillong: Meghalaya is set to get its first woman police chief Idashisha Nongrang, who succeeds Lajja Ram Bishnoi, who retired on Sunday, May 19, 2024. 

Senior IPS officer Idashisha Nongrang has been appointed as Meghalaya’s first woman DGP (Sourced Photo)
Senior IPS officer Idashisha Nongrang has been appointed as Meghalaya’s first woman DGP (Sourced Photo)

A 1992 Assam-Meghalaya cadre IPS officer, Nongrang’s appointment is notable culturally as she belongs to the Khasi community, one of Meghalaya’s three matrilineal ethnic tribes.

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The Khasis, like the Garos and Jaiñtias, practice a matrilineal system in which descent and inheritance are traced through the mother’s lineage.

With her appointment as the director general of police (DGP) she is the sixth woman to hold the topmost post in a law enforcement agency in India.

Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya was the first woman to hold the position of DGP in India when she was appointed as the DGP of Uttarakhand in 2004. 

From December 1994 to November 2003, Nongrang served as the sub-divisional police officer of Dadenggre, Shillong additional superintendent of police (SP), SP Jaiñtia Hills, Commandant 1st MLP Battalion and SP East Khasi Hills. 

She then went on deputation to the Government of India in the Intelligence Bureau from November 2003 to January 2020 in various capacities. Nongrang returned to Meghalaya in 2020, where she served in Police headquarters till June 2022, when she took over as the director general of Meghalaya civil defence and home guards till date. She also served as acting DGP in 2021, indicating her readiness for this pivotal role and earning the respect, admiration, and loyalty of all ranks.

A recipient of the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2008 and President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2015, Nongrang’s appointment as the state’s police chief received extensive support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the two main regional political parties – United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Voice of the People Party (VPP). These parties had consistently urged for the appointment of a local IPS officer as DGP and supported Nongrang’s candidature.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) recommended Nongrang, Ram Prasad Meena (1991 batch), currently serving as additional director general of police (ADG), Border Security Force, and Deepak Kumar (1992 batch), presently ADG, Central Reserve Police Force, for the vital position.

The Meghalaya Security Commission headed by chief minister Conrad K Sangma approved Nongrang’s appointment, reflecting the state’s commitment to developing leadership from within and recognising the qualities of its officials.

Nongrang will be Meghalaya’s police chief until May 19, 2026, supervising the state’s law enforcement agencies and upholding law and order. Her appointment is not only a recognition of her professional accomplishments but also a significant step forward for women’s empowerment and representation in state leadership positions.

Nongrang’s appointment as the first woman DGP in Meghalaya, a hill state dominated by matrilineal indigenous ethnic groups, marks a significant step toward breaking gender barriers. Her leadership is intended to inspire and pave the way for more women to take on significant roles in the state’s governance and decision-making processes.

HT reached out to Nongrang to get a sense of how she would take this new assignment forward. Speaking to HT, Nongrang, shared her vision for the state’s law enforcement highlighting the importance of empowering local leadership and fostering a collaborative approach to governance.

Q. You have held several important positions in law enforcement, how different will this new role be?

It is much more challenging with significant responsibilities, both to the public and the entire Meghalaya Police.

Q. You also served on central deputation. Can you share a bit about that experience, and how do you feel the stint has contributed to your career growth?

It was an eye-opener, a bigger canvas where I learnt to view things more holistically and the importance of attention to detail, which makes a lot of difference. Hard work pays in the end; short-cuts literally cut short most good work. It also made me realise that no one is indispensable, and each one has something to contribute.

Q. What are your topmost priorities in your long list of responsibilities as the state police chief?

Maintenance of law and order, prevention and detection of crime, making Meghalaya Police more accessible to all and striving to get the entire police department to live up to its motto – “Help us to help you”.

Q. On a scale of one to ten, how would you honestly rate the law-and-order scenario in the state, keeping in mind our complex intra and international borders?

Five and a half.

Q. In a few words, what is your message to Meghalaya police, the citizens and lawbreakers?

To Meghalaya Police – live up to your motto; to citizens  – we are here to help, not to harass and to lawbreakers – you might get away sometimes, but we have patience, and the long arm of the law will get to you eventually.

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