ITBP DG Sanjay Arora to be new Delhi Police chief, farewell parade for Rakesh Asthana today


Delhi will get a new police commissioner in Indo-Tibetan Border Police Director-General Sanjay Arora. The ceremonial preparations for the retirement of outgoing Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana are underway at Parade ground in New Police Lines. The event is scheduled for around 4 pm today.

Last year, four days before his scheduled retirement, the Centre appointed 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer Asthana as the new Delhi Police commissioner until July 31, 2022.

On Sunday, the special commissioner of police (headquarters) flashed a message to all the special CPs, JCPs, additional CPs and DCPs. “A farewell parade to CP, Delhi, Rakesh Asthana, is being organised at Parade Ground, New Police Lines at 4 pm on Sunday. All the officers have to reach Parade Ground before 3.30 pm, one inspector, two sub-inspectors, two head-constables and four constables from all the district should also attend the parade. Dress code is uniform with a peak cap and cross belt. All officers will be present at Adarsh Hall, Delhi Police headquarters at 5.30 pm for farewell function,” it states.

Asthana was the chief of the Border Security Force (BSF) and also held additional charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). Before his joining, Balaji Srivastava, an IPS officer of the 1988 AGMUT-batch, was given additional charge of the commissioner of police, Delhi, and he left after only 27 days. “The approval of the appointment committee of the Cabinet has been conveyed, dated July 27, 2021, for the Inter Cadre deputation of Rakesh Asthana, from Gujarat cadre to AGMUT Cadre and extending his service initially for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation on July 31, 2021, or until further orders, whichever is earlier, in relaxation of Rule 16 (1) of the All India Services (death-cum-retirement benefits) rules, 1958 as a special case in public interest,” wrote B G Krishnan, deputy secretary, in a home ministry notification then.

As a special director in the CBI, Asthana was involved in a bitter feud with the agency’s then director Alok Verma. At the peak of the turf war within CBI, Verma registered an FIR against Asthana on October 15, 2018, alleging that a suspect in the Moin Qureshi case had been forced to pay Rs 2.95 crore to Asthana through two middlemen to water down the case against him. Asthana was eventually cleared of all charges and the CBI had submitted in the high court that there was no evidence to support the charges against him.

The incident precipitated such a crisis that the government swooped down on the agency at midnight on October 21, 2018, and forced both to go on leave. Nageswara Rao was then handed over the charge of CBI temporarily.

Asthana has had diverse experience in service, having served both in state government and at the Centre, where he served twice in the CBI. During his first stint in the agency, he investigated the fodder scam, which resulted in the conviction of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav.





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