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Guest Column: A Tribal From Meghalaya Becomes State’s First Woman DGP

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Sanjeev Sirohi

It is a matter of immense pride and paramount satisfaction to note that history was created in the State of Meghalaya in the North-East on May 11, 2024 when the State Government led by Chief Minister – Mr Conrad K Sangma decided to appoint Ms Idashisha Nongrang as the Director General of Police (DGP). She will take over as the first tribal woman DGP of Meghalaya on May 20, 2024 replacing Mr Lajja Ram Bishnoi and will be in charge of law and order manning the most prestigious top job for the next two years. She belongs to the Khasi community of Meghalaya. We need to note that the Khasis are a matrilineal community. The other two matrilineal communities of the State are Garos and Jaintias. She will serve in the post till May 19, 2026.

It must be recalled here that much of the life of Ms Idashisha Nongrang who is due to shortly take over as DGP of Meghalaya was spent mostly behind the shadows rather to put it more appropriately behind the curtains as she charted a brilliant career with excellent performance most quietly in the nation’s top anti-espionage agency known famously as the Intelligence Bureau in which she served in Delhi and even the North East. There can be no denying that considered to be one of the most challenging job, it is not every man’s game to be in the Intelligence Bureau and yet it cannot be ever denied by anyone that as a woman she hold the distinction of not only just serving but also excelling in that field for many years for which she definitely deserves all the credit for it. No denying it.

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It must definitely be mentioned here that an official notification said that, “…the Governor of Meghalaya  is pleased to appoint Idashisha Nongrang…as the Director General of Police …with effect from May 20, 2024.” It must also be disclosed here that the Chief Minister of Meghalaya – Mr Conrad K Sangma wrote on X regarding her appointed to the coveted job that, “Heartiest congratulations to Idashisha Nongrang, IPS, on her appointment as the new DGP. Breaking barriers and making history, she becomes the first tribal lady from our State to hold this position, a moment of immense pride for all of us. Wishing her all the best!”

It is also worth mentioning here that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had recommended the names of Ms Idashisha Nongrang who is serving as Director General of Meghalaya Civil Defence besides Mr Ram Prasad Meena who is serving as ADG of Border Security Force (BSF) and CRPF ADG Deepak Kumar who is serving as ADG of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for appointment to the most coveted top post. We thus see that she had been one of the front runner of the three officers in the running for the top coveted job. We need to also note here that three major political parties – United Democratic Party, Voice of the People Party and the Meghalaya State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had demanded the appointment of a local IPS officer as DGP and rooted for her appointment stating vocally that she is a local and she will be in a position to understand and above all is most diligent to tackle the State’s various intricacies much better and thus was best suited for the top job! It must be noted that the incumbent Mr Lajja Ram Bishnoi will demit office on May 19.

Needless to say, it is undeniable that her vast experience in running the intelligence gathering will definitely come handy most in the State Police Force especially at this critical juncture when multiple attacks of arson or assaults are taking place in certain places in what is suspected to be a very well deliberated and well calculated attempts to unleash mayhem and destruction by certain vested interest and anti-national groups who are all out to put the State Government in an embarrassing position. It would be the primary job of this new DGP to ensure that she will play all her cards well and ensure that law and order is maintained properly with no one being allowed to hold the State to ransom and those who dare to break the law of the land are promptly dealt with and send behind bars where ideally they should be. It also must be underscored here that she also has to ensure that the local population does not get alienated in any way while she deals tough with anti-national elements and powerful vested groups who are well entrenched with the local population and try to exploit them for their own vested purposes!

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It cannot be lost on us and is definitely also worth mentioning here that Ms Idashisha Nongrang has also been the district police chief on two occasions. It also merits mentioning here that before heading for deputation at the Centre, Ms Idashisha Nongrang was also the SP of Jaintia Hills (Jowai) and so also East Khasi Hills (Shillong). In addition, we also need to note here that she also had earlier served as the Commandant of the State Police Battalion.

Apart from what all has been mentioned above, it would also be imperative to certainly  mention here that she also holds the unique distinction of being among the top officers whose name had figured for the most prestigious post DGP of another State that is Mizoram. It also definitely cannot be just glossed over that since her return to the State cadre in Meghalaya – Ms Idashisha Nongrang has been acting DGP and also manning the top position of DGP for Civil Defence and Home Guards. She also was the acting DGP in 2021 thus having a brief stint to the top job. One can say for sure that she will perform exceptionally well and prove by dint of her merit that women are in no way less than men in any field and for this we all must definitely feel proud of!

(The author of the article is an advocate based in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He can be reached at [email protected])
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