The Central Reserve Force (CRPF)’s Srinagar sector reached new heights under the command of Inspector General Charu Sinha, the 1996-batch Telangana Cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. It was under Sinha that the force picked up 40 gallantry medals, the highest in the country among all the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
As many as 1,082 police personnel were awarded police medals on the occasion of Independence Day, the Union ministry of home affairs said on Sunday.
Personnel from the CRPF received 109 gallantry awards, while Jammu and Kashmir police received 108 awards. Personnel from the Border Security Force (BSF) picked 19 awards, while Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) picked six awards each.
Out of the 109 medals, the CRPF picked 83 bravery medals for its operations in J&K. The paramilitary is the largest central force deployed in the UT and undertakes combat against terrorists along with the JKP and its special squad SOG (special operations group) and the Army.
Since September 2020, the CRPF in Kashmir has been commanded by Sinha. It was the first time that a female IPS officer is heading the force in the terrorist-affected areas of Kashmir.
But Sinha is not new to tough assignments, as earlier she had dealt with Naxals as IG, Bihar Sector. It was under her leadership, that the force had undertaken anti-Naxal operations.
She is the first woman CRPF Inspector General to command sectors for anti-Naxalite and anti-terrorist operations in Srinagar, Jammu and Bihar.
But it was not her tough side that made Sinha special. Sinha was instrumental in providing assistance in the recent Amarnath Yatra cloudburst tragedy. It was her force that was at the forefront as first responders in the rescue project.
Sinha played an important role in setting up a makeshift hospital at Baltal. The hospital treated over 200 patients every day. In all, the hospital treated 1400 patients in the week following the tragedy.
Before going to the CRPF on deputation, she handled different positions in Telangana and the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh. She was earlier posted as IG Training, Telangana State, where she trained 12,000 constables across 28 police training academies. She also served as Director, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Telangana, handling the drive against corruption.
Sinha also worked as the IGP, CID, Telangana wherein she handled all kinds of crimes and before that, she was appointed secretary, Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission, wherein she handled the recruitment of government employees across all government departments.
She had also been posted as DIG Anantapur range, consisting of Anantapur, Chittoor and Thirupati districts in Andhra Pradesh, handling extremely violent faction feuds, communalism and various issues in the region.
Sinha served as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Pulivendula, Cuddapah district, handling faction feuds, then as ASP, Eluru, West Godavari district, handling various kinds of crimes.
Not one to shy away from challengers, Sinha also served as OSD (officer on special duty) in charge of anti-extremist operations in Medak district, where she handled the issue of extremism and the rehabilitation of surrendered cadres.
Sinha was also posted as Commandant of 1st Battalion Hyderabad and, after that, as Superintendent of Police (SP) Prakasam district, where she worked with chenchu tribals in educating them about the ills of supporting extremists, bringing tribal, social, and economic issues into focus and showing them alternatives in life. She was also posted as SP, Intelligence Security Wing, and then as SP, Nizamabad district.
Sinha also has extensive international experience, having worked at the United Nations Mission in Kosovo in Europe, in an area torn apart by conflict between Albanian Muslims and Christian Serbs. She oversaw the watch unit on Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, who was on trial for war crimes.
On her return, Sinha was posted as SP, Chittoor wherein, apart from law and order and crimes, she worked for the restoration of property rights of HIV-affected women and children, thrown out of their homes.
As SP, Mehbubnagar, she worked with the chenchu tribals and the fishermen on the river belt. Her community policing initiatives ensured that all the members of the extremist dalams surrendered their weapons and extremism was rooted out of the district after two decades.
As Joint Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Sinha shifted her focus to the fight against corruption. She then served as the State Poll Commissioner for East Godavari during the 2009 general election.
Sinha was then posted as Deputy Director at the Andhra Pradesh Police Academy, where she trained over 1500 sub-inspectors.
Sinha is a graduate of English Literature, History and Political Science from St. Francis College for Women in Hyderabad. She did her post-graduation in Political Science from Hyderabad Central University.