With her 85th rank (All India) in the UPSC exam, Sanjukta Parashar could have opted for a comfortable desk job. With her Ph.D from Jawaharlal University and her two year old son, it certainly would make sense. Instead, she chose a harder path, fighting terror everyday.
Parashar’s first posting in 2008 as Assistant Commandant of Makum saw her being dispatched within hours to Udalguri – to control ethnic clashes between Bodo and illegal Bangladeshi migrants. Now the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Assam’s Jorhat District, she regularly leads CRPF jawans and commandos through Assam’s jungles armed with an AK-47.
Last month, her team arrested militants responsible for lethal attacks on Army convoys. Along with militants who use the jungle as camouflage, there are also elements that are dangerous – a treacherous terrain with high humidity, sudden torrential rains that suddenly create chest high currents in the river and wild animals.
And then there are the locals, who play informant to the militants, giving away troop movement information. Despite all this, she shot down 16 militants and arrested 64 in the last few months, and recovered massive hauls of arms and ammunition, according to India Today. As Assam’s first IPS officer, she is very much aware of how the state’s women look up to her as a role model and a beacon of hope. In an interview with Fried Eye, she remembered posting lady officers in civil dress, to catch eve teasers in buses, schools and colleges.
She also uses small gestures to make a big impact.