Former CBI officer Rakesh Asthana on Tuesday was appointed as the commissioner of Delhi Police. Asthana’s appointment to the top Delhi Police post comes days before he was set to retire on July 31. His appointment as Delhi Police chief was enabled by an extension granted “as a special case”, according to an order from the Appointments Committee of Cabinet comprising Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) circular noted that it has been “requested to relieve Rakesh Asthana immediately to enable him to join as Commissioner of Police, Delhi”. As Asthana vacates the post of BSF chief, IPS officer SS Deswal, the Director-General of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), has been given the additional charge to head the BSF.
The 1984-batch Gujarat cadre batch IPS officer has proven his mettle across different organisations he has worked throughout his career. Asthana played a pivotal role in arresting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam in 1997 during his tenure as the superintendent of police in the CBI.
As Police Commissioner of Vadodara and Surat, Asthana also headed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the Godhra train burning case, in which 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya were charred to death by a Muslim mob near the Godhra railway station.
Asthana, however, was shrouded in controversy for his alleged falling out with CBI boss Alok Verma in 2018. The news made national headlines as the apex agency was divided into two camps. The then CBI director even falsely booked Asthana in an alleged bribery case, in which he was cleared later on.
Read More: Alok Verma was biased against Asthana, claims CVC report
If it wasn’t for the CJI’s intervention, Asthana could well have been the next CBI director, despite the controversy of three summers ago. In May, when a panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi converged to select the director of the premier investigative agency, Chief Justice NV Ramana reportedly raised a Supreme Court decision that officers with less than six months left in service should not be considered for police chief posts. And hence, his name was dropped from the race.
However, owing to his stellar resume, Asthana was deputed to the Union Territory to take charge of the national capital at a time when miscreants, for the better part of the last one and a half years have kept Delhi at toes. Whether it be the unruly Shaheen Bagh protest, North East Delhi riots or the fake farmers’ protest, the citizens of Delhi have been through a rough patch.
With the fake farmer’s protest entering its eighth month near the Delhi border, Asthana’s elevation to the top job is being seen as a precursor to a more decisive Delhi Police that will attempt to get rid of the fake farmers. A known hard taskmaster, Asthana has been vindicated by the centre’s decision to grant him an extended run. One reckons, he might just be the antidote Delhi needed.
Very important informations
I like it.