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Bedi ‘relieved’ after VRS nod
Kiran Bedi at her office in New Delhi on Wednesday after her resignation was accepted. Picture. by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Dec. 26: The government has accepted the voluntary retirement plea of Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS officer in the country, more than a month after she asked for it.

After her file did the rounds of various departments for “comments”, home minister Shivraj Patil finally put his signature, relieving her with effect from December 24. In normal course, she was to retire on June 30, 2009.

Bedi confirmed that she had received the letter from the home ministry and that she was “relieved” in more than one way. “I am going to be busier than ever,” she said, asked about her post-retirement plans.

Bedi, a 1972 batch IPS officer, was holding the post of director-general of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

In her application seeking voluntary retirement on November 15, Bedi had said she wanted to pursue her “strong academic and social interests”.

Working in the government, she told The Telegraph, can be “very restrictive”. Free from the limitations now, Bedi said, there was so much she could do in public life.

She would try to reform the system from outside after trying to reform it from within, Bedi said. “I now look forward to working ‘with’ the government and not ‘for’ the government,” Bedi said.

The government had last week indicated that it would continue to avail of the services of Bedi for the national police mission, but she rejected the offer.

She said one of the issues on her agenda was to work on police reforms and create awareness among the people.

“There have been so many committees which have gone into the issue of police reforms but nothing has been implemented yet. It has to be made an issue of public life through various means. I will enjoy doing it,” Bedi said.

Does that signal an interest in politics? “None whatsoever,” she said but did not rule out the possibility of joining politics later.

Claiming that her experience in government had been bitter and sweet, Bedi alleged that she had been denied “basic civil behaviour” at times. She was not just referring to the denial of Delhi police commissioner’s post, which was given to her two-year junior officer Y.S. Dadwal.

Bedi said she got an invitation from then US President Bill Clinton to attend a breakfast meeting in 1994. “Permission was callously declined to me in the last minute. I was all set with packed bags when I was told I could not go. Not just that, an explanation was sought from me as to why I had been invited,” she said.

However, permission was granted to her the next year when the invitation came again.

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