Chhaya Sharma, the IPS officer who investigated and caught the culprits of the most ‘heinous’ gang rape of the decade—Nirbhaya gang rape— is awarded the prestigious Courage and Leadership Award instituted by McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, USA, this month.

Each year, a honourary individual or group is recognised for fundamental values and the award is bestowed for their exceptional bravery.

Recently Netflix released Indo-Canadian filmmaker Richie Mehta’s Delhi Crime, a hard-hitting seven-episode web-series, depicting the deeper crimes on the 2012 Delhi gang rape or Nirbhaya case from Delhi Police’s perspective. Written and directed by Richie Mehta, in the series, actor Shefali Shah played the lead role, DCP Vartika Chaturvedi., inspired by IPS Chhaya Sharma, former DCP of Delhi Police who led the 41-member investigation team to nab the rapists involved in the Nirbhaya case.

“I am honoured to receive the award which acknowledged the entire body of work that I have done and not just the most discussed case. I am humbled by this international honour, but at heart, I continue to be a person who nurtures empathy and kindness in an otherwise tough and hard-hitting profession. This allows me to sleep in peace,” Chhaya said to The Logical Indian after receiving the honour.

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Talking further about solving several cases, including the PNL Nidhi scam, Chhaya said, “As DCP outer district, I was given charge of the wildest and notorious district in 2010, where I was able to create new teams and solve several heinous cases of murder and dacoity. Catching one active group of snatchers, I was able to solve 22 cases of robbery and snatching. I was given the sobriquet of ‘Gangster Eliminator DCP’ as I caught various notorious gangs, bringing down the crime rate. I solved a number of cow slaughter and dumping cases.”

Chhaya Sharma was the first female SSP (Law and Order), Puducherry, and first female DCP Outer. She was also the first female DCP South district, Delhi. She is currently the Deputy Inspector General at the National Human Rights Commission.

“I am extremely passionate about my profession as it gives me the opportunity to help people in distress. Each time I relieve other people’s stress, I feel satisfied and contented to have done my duty. For me, this profession is a blessing from God and an ode to my father, who I have grown up seeing helping others in need despite scarce resources,” she added.

After beginning the investigation, News Bytes quoted Sharma saying, “After going through such a traumatic experience, it is not easy for the victim to narrate the incident.”

“But Nirbhaya was the epitome of courage who remained calm and narrated the entire dreadful episode with confidence. We owed it to her,” she added.

Feature Image Credit: U.S. Embassy India/Twitter

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