Lady IPS officer takes over reins of Kollam City

Lady IPS officer takes over reins of Kollam City

As Ajeetha Begum took over the reins of Kollam City Police from Satheesh Bino on Wednesday, the two IPS officers sealed the transfer of power for photographers with the customary handshake. There, still, was something more to it than the regular, official photo-op drill – Ajeetha was taking over as the City Commissioner of Police from her husband.

“In its official context, this is perhaps the first such occasion; but for us, it was only about following a government order. Nothing special,” Ajeetha told Deccan Herald. The officer who has helmed police forces in five districts during a nine-year career has joined work after a maternity break. Before going on leave, she was posted as Kollam Rural SP. Satheesh, who was also her batch-mate, is now the District Police Chief in neighbouring Pathanamthitta.

The new commissioner is quick to dismiss any suggested possibility of the couple influencing each other when it comes to work. “We have different styles. The areas of interest are also not always the same; I’m interested in security of women and children, he is more into areas like organised crime,” she said.

Ajeetha is from Coimbatore and Satheesh, from Kanyakumari. The couple has two children – Arhan, four, and seven-month-old Arshidha. Ajeetha sometimes finds striking the career-life balance a tough ask and is glad that she didn’t have to move out of the district on her return to duty. “There have been times when I felt that I was not giving due attention to my children, especially since I like to take up such responsibilities at home,” she said.

Ajeetha, as the new Commissioner, lists addressing gender issues and reducing the number of road accidents among her priorities for the city. As the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Thiruvananthapuram, she had led Fem Patrol, an initiative launched against eve-teasers. With Satheesh shifting to another district, even meetings could become increasingly special for the couple. “Even when we are together at home, we end up discussing serious professional matters. At times, we do look for a break or time at the movies,” she said.

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