IGP D. Roopa Moudgil chuckles when she recalls that she was still in primary school when her father sowed the seeds of her dream to become an IPS officer.
“The idea was thrown around by my father when I was in the third standard, and then I joined the NCC in high school. I went on to represent the state at Republic Day camps, which is when I became more interested,” she tells Outlook. Clearing the UPSC examination on her first attempt with an all-India rank of 43rd, she opted for the police service and, in 2000, became Karnataka’s first female Kannadiga IPS officer.
Within a year of taking office, she arrested the then CM of Madhya Pradesh in a case of communal rioting on the basis of a non-bailable warrant issued by the Hubli court. In 2013, as DCP, city armed reserve, Bangalore, she withdrew 216 unauthorised security guards retained by 81 politicians, as well as eight unauthorised SUVs in the retinue of an ex-CM of Karnataka. She was in the news last year for speaking out against the preferential treatment given to AIADMK leader Sasikala in a Bangalore prison, a case that dominated the headlines.
With many firsts to her credit, Moudgil became the first woman police officer to head the cyber-crime division, and was awarded the prestigious President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service in January 2016. She is also a TEDx speaker, with her talk “Why Bureaucrats Hesitate to Act” having recorded more than a million views on YouTube.