Mr RP. Sharma, a 1958 batch IPS officer borne on the Madhya Pradesh cadre, was DG Police Tripura from November 1987 till December 1990. On 1 January 1991, he was appointed as DG Police Madhya Pradesh, when the BJP was in power and Sunderlal Patwa was the Chief Minister of the then largest State in the country. He remained DGP till 10 May 1992. After a short break, he was brought back as the State Police chief on 1 January 1993, when President’s rule was imposed in the wake of the Post-Ayodhya riots in December 1992 by the PV Narasimha Rao led Congress Government at the Centre. The highwater mark of his second stint as State DGP was that he restored people’s faith in the police force, ensured law and order across the State and helped in creating the ideal atmosphere for peaceful conduct of the general election to the State Assembly after one year of President’s rule.
As DGP Madhya Pradesh, he had steered and got approved a Rs. 180 million Action plan to combat the naxalite menace when Mr. Sunderlal Patwa was the Chief Minister. It is another story that the successive Congress Goverment had put this in cold storage.
When Mr. Sharma was DGP Madhya Pradesh, he had steered and got approved a Rs. 180 million Action plan to combat the naxalite menace when Mr. Sunderlal Patwa was the Chief Minister. It is another story that the successive Congress Goverment had put this Action Plan, which covered resources for imparting jungle warfare and anti-insurgency training to the policemen and also accomodated their demand for special allowances and incentives, at par with what was being offered by the Andhra Pradesh Government, in cold storage.
In the early 80s, when the naxalites, or call them Maoists, were in the initial stages of spreading their tentacles in Bastar, R.P. Sharma was sent as DIG to this Southern-most district of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha. From the word go, he had launched a campaign against the timber mafia and teak smugglers operating in Bastar with full political patronage. Soon, he was sent on deputation to the BSF and within a short time got posted as IG BSF, West Bengal. In this capacity, he was also in-charge of the entire North-East.
In 1987, Mr Sharma was appointed as the Director General of Police in Tripura, a post he held till December 1990. When political patronage and closeness with the powers that be was and continues to be the general trend for bagging top posts, it goes to Mr Sharma’s credit that he remained the head of the Trupura Police both during the CPI(M) regime led by Nripen Chakroborty and the successive Congress Government headed by Sudhir Ranjan Majumdar rising above political lines.
During the fag end of the CPI (M) leader Nripen Chakraborty’s 10 year rule as Tripura Chief Minister (5 January 1978 – 5 February 1988), violent extremism had been brought under control by Tripura Police under the leadership of Mr. Sharma. When congress came to power in Tripura and Sudhir Ranjan Majumdar became Chief Minister, there was no let up and the police continued to maintain pressure on groups that had taken to violent extremism. Full credit goes to Mr Sharma for successfully handling the extremist crisis and restoring law and order and peace in Tripura. As long as he was the State Police chief, extremism could not raise its head in that State.
As head of the Police force, he always felt as paterfamilias, it was his bounden duty to ensure there was justice with fairness whenever any case for redressal of grievance was put up before him.
Mr. Sharma was both a supercop and a living embodiment of the best in human values. As head of the Police force, he always felt as paterfamilias, it was his bounden duty to ensure there was justice with fairness whenever any case for redressal of grievance was put up before him. With a hundred thousand police force, there was no dearth of applications, files and notings that came for his consideration. But what was unique in his case was that one could never see a pending file on his office table at the Police headquarters. To a visitor, he never gave the impression that he was too busy. Rather, he was always cordial and would have a lending ear for anyone in crisis or needing help. While his table remained absolutely clean as he met senior officers or attended to visitors in his office , each day there would be bags full of files. These, he would carry home, where he used to spend late night hours studying them from page one till the last before jotting his noting….The next day, he used to be all set for long hours of work without any backlog.
He was always a level above the best of brains in the world of economics when it came to analysis or offering solutions for the most complex of economic issues.
Mr. Sharma was an avid reader, an authority on Persian literature – especially medieval – and an economist in his own right. He was always a level above the best of brains in the world of economics when it came to analysis or offering solutions for the most complex of economic issues. Till his last breath, he remained up-to-date with information and knowledge of international relations and current affairs. Instead of being always diplmatically correct, he chose to be outspoken and never held back his views.
Mr RP Sharma, Former Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh passed away in Bhopal on Friday 22nd July 2022.
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