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Dr RP Sharma, The Top Cop Who Reformed Policing In Odisha

06 August 2019

Baibhav Mishra

Bhubaneswar: A doctor by education, cop by profession and visionary by instincts, Odisha DGP and soon to be Lokayukta Member, Dr RP Sharma belongs to the rare breed of IPS officers who always carried a human angle to policing.

The 1986-batch IPS officer, Dr Sharma took over as Odisha's Director General of Police on August 31, 2017 and since then he has tirelessly worked towards transforming policing across the State, right from the outpost level to the State Police Headquarters.

Be it about taking strong decisions to counter Naxals, or ingraining the humane values into lower-rung cops, Dr Sharma was always proactive. He was not an usual office-going officer, rather preferred to be on the field with his colleagues.

The mega awareness campaign titled ‘Pari Paain Katha Tie’ to spread the message on safety of minor girls, was the brainchild of Dr Sharma. This programme, in collaboration with UNICEF, achieved noteworthy success in every corner of Odisha.

He was an epitome of simplicity. As the top cop he was well connected to every police station of Odisha and worked towards making the lives of the police personnel better.

Odisha police, under the leadership of Dr Sharma played a pivotal role in evacuation and rescue of people during pre and post-Fani phases. The DGP was at the centre of action, monitoring the developments from the Control Room in Bhubaneswar. The efforts of Odisha Police during Fani were highly praised by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Dr Sharma has many firsts to his credit as the Police Commissioner of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Pink auto service for women, women support centre ‘Maadhyam’, self-defence training to girl students and working women and ‘Mo Saathi’ mobile application for women in distress, were launched during his tenure as Police Commissioner of the Twin City.

The then Police Commissioner was a regular attenedee at the Police-Public interfaces every week. He was close to the people of the Twin-City and heard their grievances with patience and made sure those were addressed duly.

As DG, Vigilance he not only started a drive against corruption in rural housing schemes but also launched a number of citizen services to enhance the access and reach of the anti-corruption wing.

He served as SP in Kalahandi, Berhampur, Dhenkanal and Balasore between 1990 and 2001. He also served as DIG in Crime Branch and Central Range. In 2004, Dr Sharma proceeded on Central deputation during which he held prestigious positions with National Security Guard (NSG).

Between 2004 and 2013, he was elevated from DIG to IG at the Special Forces unit of the country. He also served with the UN in its Support Mission at Haiti as well as the drug administration.

“I was the ASP of Bhubaneswar, when the great statesman and then Chief Minister Biju Patnaik called me up. He said, ‘young man I am sending you to Ganjam, go there, check crime and instil a sense of security among people,’” Dr Sharma once said, sharing while sharing his anecdotes during service.

Now, as Dr Shrama is all set to take up a new role as the Member of Lokayukta, his instincts to wipe out corruption are very much intact. “I will utilise my experience as a police officer to check corruption in the system and act against the corrupt,” he said.