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The Extraordinary Tale of Maharashtra’s First Woman IPS Officer: Meeran Borwankar

From witnessing the hangings of Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon to being a key investigator of the famous Jalgaon sex scandal, Meeran has had an impressive career.

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Meeran Chadha Borwankar’s journey has been nothing short of impressive. She was Pune’s first woman police commissioner and the first woman IPS officer in Maharashtra cadre.

She was also the first woman to head the Mumbai crime branch. After 36 years of police service, she retired on Saturday.

She has had to face several challenging situations in her long career. She was the only woman IPS officer in India to have witnessed the hangings of Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon.

In an interview with The Indian Express, Meeran said that she thought the hangings would make her feel relieved, but it was quite the opposite.

A few months after the execution, Yakub’s wife tried to approach her for help with her daughter’s passport. Though she was taken aback, Meeran was determined to help her.

“I called up and met some agencies in Mumbai and Delhi and got her daughter’s passport work done. It had been held back because of a lapse at the time of the girl’s birth in Dubai. The birth had not been registered with the Indian embassy there. I felt satisfied after the work was done. Both mother and daughter thanked me and Yakub’s wife has met me too,” she said in the interview.

Meeran was also a key investigator of the famous Jalgaon sex scandal. “The Jalgaon sex scandal also convinced me of the need to sensitise police officers/staff about the issues of girls/women and to have many more women officers and staff, if we wish to cater to the needs of women in distress,” she told Pune Mirror. She was the only senior woman police officer present during the investigation.

In the 36 years of her career, Meeran has faced discrimination based on her gender, though she says it isn’t as frequent when you reach higher posts.

Meeran Chadha Borwankar. Source: Facebook

She aims to inspire girls to come into the workforce and to mentor and counsel them. She says that she too hails from a small town, and understands how girls from rural and B-towns have it much worse.

It is them that she wants to guide so that they can boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Based on incidents in her career, Meeran also released a book recently at the Pune International Literary Festival. From interrogating gangsters, going undercover to management principles in police work – she has included all sorts of incidents from her professional life.

After retiring, Meeran wants to get involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities or academics; she tells Pune Mirror.

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