IPS officer Merin Joseph becomes first woman KAP commandant

Merin became a social media star in 2014, after a Facebook page named "Kochi Pazhaya Kochiyalla" posted her photo with a caption, "Merin Joseph IPS - How many likes for our new ACP of Kochi?"

IPS officer Merin Joseph becomes first woman KAP commandant

IPS officer Merin Joseph has become the first woman to be appointed as commandant of the Kerala Armed Police (KAP). She has been posted to second battalion in Muttikulangara in Palakkad, Kerala.

Earlier, she was serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Irinjalakuda. Women battalion commandants are a rarity in Kerala.

Merin was appointed after incumbent Cyril C Valloor proceeded on leave,

Malayala Manorama reported. She took charge on New Year's Day.

Though Merin is the first woman commandant of KAP, Uma Behra had briefly held briefly held its charge when she was commandant of the Malabar Special Police (MSP) batallion in Malappuram.

In the past six years, Rajpal Meena was the only IPS officer to be the batallion commandant.

Merin became a social media star in 2014, after a Facebook page named "Kochi Pazhaya Kochiyalla" posted her photo with a caption, "Merin Joseph IPS - How many likes for our new ACP of Kochi?"

She later took to Facebook and clarified that she was still under training in Hyderabad.

She also objected to an article in a Hindi vernacular ‘10 most beautiful female IPS and IAS officers in India’.

She wrote on Facebook that there is a lot that is wrong with Indian media, especially, the "vernacular" press and wrote that a "shameless objectification of women" propagates patriarchal structures and reduces "a lady's worth to her face value."

Putting the brave female officers of the country on the same pedestal as her male counter parts, she mentioned, "These are bold and brave officers working in the complex bureaucratic system in India, negotiating their way through the good, bad and ugly of our body politic — and here we have a list of officers whom people can ogle at. It's seriously disgusting, constricting and very very demeaning to our identities as smart, intelligent self-made women."

Merin has been social media's darling ever since and even her marriage got extensive media coverage. The officer came under fire for posting a picture with actor Nivin Pauly on Facebook while they shared dais at a function.