A third generation police officer from her family, little has changed in IPS officer Monika Bhardwaj’s personal life after she cracked the prestigious civil services examination in 2009.
Back in her native village in Haryana, her mother continues to tend to cattle and look after their fields, while the police officer daughter still drives an old Hyundai Santro car.
Her colleagues see Ms. Bhardwaj as an honest officer who silently goes about her job without any hint of arrogance that her post can sometimes summon.
As the Additional DCP (West), this is Ms. Bhardwaj’s first posting in Delhi. She was recently in news for leading a police team that swiftly apprehended two juveniles who had picked a three-year-old girl from a Ramleela function in Nihal Vihar and raped her in a park.
The officer had earlier served in Pondicherry where she had defied a Muslim MLA and arrested some persons allegedly involved in the gang-rape of a 21-year-old woman. The MLA had allegedly questioned the victim’s character, calling her a sex worker.
Only last year, the officer’s younger sister, too, had cracked the UPSC exam and is currently an officer with the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). Her other sister is employed by the Indian Railways.
Ms. Bhardwaj’s father is a sub-inspector with the Delhi Police. Her grandfather, too, was with the Delhi Police and had retired as a head constable. Her husband, a software engineer with a private firm, had shifted to India from the US after their marriage last year.
The recent lynching of a dentist in West Delhi, however, has brought her into limelight, that according to some of her colleagues, she wanted to avoid.
“The officer had come across rumours related to the case. So she sought a religious break-up of the suspects from her subordinates and promptly put them on Twitter in a bid to dispel all rumours,” said a senior officer.
While the two tweets have drawn praise from several prominent personalities, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, it has not gone down well with some officers who feel she went out of her way to post it from her private handle.
While the officer has since remained quiet on the issue, her friends say she has for sometime now been regularly updating “safety tips” on Twitter.
“The two tweets related to the dentist’s murder were just an extension of what she had been doing as a responsible officer,” said another officer.