There has been a big upheaval in Delhi Police. The Ministry of Home Affairs has appointed senior IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the new Police Commissioner of Delhi. Rakesh, a 1984 batch IPS officer, was till now the Director General of the Border Security Force. After he was made the Commissioner of Police, ITBP Director General S.S. Deswal has been given the additional charge of DG, BSF. Asthana, a Gujarat cadre officer, has been given this responsibility three days before his retirement. He has been given an extension of one year.
Rakesh Asthana They are considered to be very smart officers. Rakesh Asthana had an important role in the investigation of the fodder scam case. While the CBI SP, the investigation of the fodder scam was done under his leadership. Rakesh Asthana has also been in the additional charge of DG Narcotics Control Bureau. It was under his supervision that the investigation of the drugs case related to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput was started.
Why is Asthana’s appointment special?
SN Srivastava of UT cadre had retired as Delhi Police Commissioner on June 30. In his place, Balaji Srivastava was given this responsibility. Importantly, after 19 years in Delhi, an officer from outside the UT cadre has been elevated to the highest post. Earlier, Ajayraj Sharma, a 1966 batch IPS officer, had got this opportunity. Despite being from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, Ajay Raj Sharma was made the Commissioner of Delhi Police in July 1999. He held this post till June 2002.
Who is Asthana?
Asthana is originally from Jharkhand. He had previously been the Special Director in the CBI. At that time, he was transferred after a dispute with the then CBI Director Alok Verma. Born on July 9, 1961, Rakesh Asthana has also been the Special Director in CBI and Director General in Narcotics Control Bureau. During the appointment in the CBI, the dispute between the then director Alok Verma and him was in the news a lot. Then there was speculation about his removal from the post. Both had made serious allegations of bribery and corruption against each other in the investigation of a corruption case. The special thing is that before joining the CBI, Alok Verma himself had also been the Delhi Police Commissioner.
Rakesh was the topper in the class
Rakesh Asthana did his early studies from Netarhat Vidyalaya in Bihar (now in Jharkhand). He was considered the fastest student in the class. He considered Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as his ideal. Even when he reached Jawaharlal Nehru University for higher education, his image remained the same. In the very first attempt, Rakesh cleared the Union Public Service Commission examination.
Surrounded in Ishrat Jahan case
In the Ishrat Jahan case, another Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Satish Verma, had filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court asking how Asthana, under the influence of the Gujarat government, tried to force a forensic officer to tamper with evidence. Verma was known for his solid investigation.
Asaram’s son arrested
After the arrest of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu by the Jodhpur Police, there was talk that his son Narayan Sai is involved in a human trafficking racket. The Gujarat government decided to arrest him and it was Asthana who was entrusted with this responsibility.
Statewide discussions on daughter’s marriage
Asthana was known as the ‘Man of Style’. When his daughter got married in Vadodara in 2016, it was discussed all over the state. In the week-long event, Asthana gave a five-star hospitality to his guests. Later everyone came to know that all the hotels had provided free services to Asthana and his family.
How did the reversal happen?
Last month on June 30, Delhi Police Commissioner N.N. Srivastava retired, who was a 1985 batch IPS officer. Earlier there was speculation that he would also get an extension, but on this occasion, the Ministry of Home Affairs handed over the additional charge of police commissioner to 1988 batch UT cadre IPS officer Balaji Srivastava in his place. Balaji was then the Special Commissioner of the Vigilance Department of Delhi Police.
Questions were also being raised about his appointment, because instead of choosing between two serving senior IPS officers of 1987 batch, Taj Hasan and Satyendra Garg, a batch junior officer Balaji Srivastava was entrusted with this responsibility, but S.N. Srivastava was also given additional charge initially and after a year his full-time appointment was approved. In such a situation, it was believed that Balaji Srivastava would also get a full time appointment sooner than later, but after 26 days of taking charge, everyone is surprised to remove him and make Rakesh Asthana the commissioner.