Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya

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Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya
Bornc. 1947
Died26 August 2019
Alma materDelhi University
OccupationIPS Officer (1973–2007)
Spouse(s)Dev Bhattacharya

Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya (c. 1947 - 26 August 2019) was the second woman officer in Indian Police Service (IPS) in India, the first being Kiran Bedi.[1] A 1973 batch IPS officer, she was the first woman to become Director General of Police of a state and retired on 31 October 2007 after 33 years of service.[2][3] She then turned to politics and ran as a candidate of Aam Aadmi Party from Haridwar, Uttarakhand in the 2014 Indian general election.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Chaudhary was born in Himachal and lived in Amritsar and Delhi. She was the first child of Madan Mohan Chaudhary.[5] Chaudhary attended the Government College for Women, Amritsar.[6] Later, Kanchan completed her Master of Arts (MA) in English Literature from Indraprastha College, Delhi University, followed by a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia in 1993.[7][8]

In an interview in 2014, Kanchan explains that she was inspired to become a police officer after her father was caught up in a property matter and was attacked; at that time police officers were not ready to register a case against the attackers. So when she cleared the Civil Services exams, it was clear to her that she would join the Indian Police Services as a path to serving justice.[9][10]


Chaudhary's career in the Indian Police Services spanned 33 years.[11] She was the second woman (after Kiran Bedi) to become an IPS officer.[12] In her batch she was the only female trainee.[9] She was the first woman to be an IPS officer in Uttar Pradesh and was the first woman appointed Deputy General Inspector of Police in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. She was then promoted to be the first woman Inspector General of the Uttar Pradesh Police. She was the first woman to serve as the Additional Director General of Police in Uttaranchal and then was the first woman promoted to be the Director General of Police in the state.[13]

Cases that Chaudhary handled in her career included the murder of seven-time national badminton champion Syed Modi in 1987 and the Reliance-Bombay Dyeing case in 1989. During her time as Assistant Superintendent of Police, Malihabad, Uttar Pradesh, she tracked down 13 dacoits in a single year.[14] She also investigated several white collar crimes in banks and public sectors.[13]

Chaudhary was selected to represent India at the 2004 Interpol meeting in Cancún, Mexico.[15] She hosted the 2nd Women in Police Conference on 27 July 2005 in Mussoorie, where the President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam, was the chief guest.[16][17] Chaudhary presented on the issues relating to the recruitment, training and continuing of women in police in India at the DGP's Annual Conference and to the Training Heads from across the country on behalf of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.[18]

Chaudhary's other interests included writing poetry and participating in dramatics. She also made a guest appearance on the TV series Udaan, which was inspired by her life story. The series was written and directed by her sister Kavita Chaudhary.[1][12][19]


On 26 August 2019, Bhattacharya died at a hospital in Mumbai where she had been receiving care during the previous five to six months. Her body was cremated at the Worli crematorium in Mumbai.[20] She was survived by her husband and two daughters. Uttarakhand Police Director General Law and Order Ashok Kumar[21] paid tribute to Bhattacharya stating, "She was a simple and sweet-natured person who gave us a free hand while we worked under her when she was the DGP." An official tribute event was held at the department's headquarters on August 27th.[22]


  • President's Medal for Long and Meritorious Services in 1989.[18]
  • President's Medal for Distinguished Services in 1997.[23]
  • Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellent All Round Performance and as an Outstanding Woman Achiever, 2004.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Santhosh, K (26 July 2012). "Officer who changed the face of the police". The Hindu.
  2. Kazmi, S M A (31 October 2007). "Chaudhary, first woman DGP, retires". Indian Express Archive. Indian Express. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  3. Singh, Gajinder (17 June 2006). "Smart salute to lady top cop". Telegraph India. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  4. Singh, Kautilya (12 March 2014). "India's first woman DGP wants AAP ticket from Haridwar". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  5. "First Woman Director General of Police (DGP) of India". WomenPlanet.in. 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  6. "A trip down memory lane". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 12 October 2007.
  7. "DU has a lot on its ladies special platter". India Today. 3 June 2009.
  8. "About Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya". streeshakti.com.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wangchuk, Rinchen Norbu (27 August 2019). "Tribute: Kanchan Chaudhary, the Trailblazing IPS Officer Who was India's 1st Woman DGP". The Better India. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  10. Laungani, Jahnavi K. (12 September 2014). "Kanchan Chaudhary: Life Sets No Limits, Only You Do!". Life Beyond Numbers. Archived from the original on 20 July 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "India's first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya dies at 72". Hindustan Times. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jha, Fiza (1 September 2019). "Udaan — DD series on life of DGP Kanchan Chaudhary inspired an entire generation of women". The Print. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Let me fly, don't root me". The Tribune - Magazine section - Saturday Extra. 26 June 2004. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  14. "From corporate warriors to politicians, 30 Indian women who are front-liners of our times". India Today. 4 April 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  15. "First lady DGP no more". Deccan Herald. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  16. Bhandare, Murlidhar C. (2010). Struggle for Gender Justice: Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lectures. APJ Abdul Kalam. Penguin Books India. pp. xii. ISBN 9780670084265.
  17. Menon, Amarnath K. (17 October 2005). "Women in police force finally make themselves heard, demand professional makeover". India Today. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Rise of Women in Policing". The Protector. 10 November 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  19. Inamdar, Nikhil (25 March 2014). "Meet first woman DGP turned AAP's Haridwar hopeful". Business Standard India. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  20. "India's first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya dies". Times of India. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  21. "India's first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya dies at 72". Hindustan Times. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  22. "India's first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya dies at 72". Hindustan Times. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  23. "Who was Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya? Fearless IPS officer who went on to become country's first woman DGP". The Financial Express. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
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