Rakesh Asthana appointed DG of Border Security Force
The Centre on Monday appointed Gujarat cadre IPS officer – Rakesh Asthana as the new director general of the Border Security Force (BSF), according to an official order.
The 1984 batch IPS officer, currently heading the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) with additional charge of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), will assume full time charge of the border guarding force deployed at the approximately 2,280 km long border with Pakistan.
Currently, DG Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) chief S S Deswal, a batchmate of Asthana, was holding the additional charge of BSF since March this year.
However, the government felt that keeping in view developments at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or de-facto border with China and Pakistan’s mischievous activities, there was a need to appoint a full time chief in BSF, said a government official.
Asthana, known for his acumen in investigations and strong leadership skills, will hold the post of DG BSF till July 31, 2021, time of his retirement. As a young SP in the CBI in 1997, he had arrested RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam. He has investigated several high profile cases including the VVIP chopper scam and bank fraud by Vijay Mallya.
He will also continue to hold the additional charge of NCB.
Asthana – a former Special Director of CBI and his then boss Alok Verma were embroiled in a bitter fight in 2018 during which both levelled corruption allegations against each other. Verma, then CBI Director, had even filed a case naming Asthana in October 2018 but the Gujarat cadre IPS officer was exonerated of all charges by a court on March 7 this year.
In fact, after the allegations came out in October 2018, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) conducted an enquiry against Verma and found him guilty of irregularities and impropriety. Verma was removed from the coveted post of CBI Director on January 10, 2019 by a high powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) order issued on Monday also stated that 1986 batch IPS officer – V S K Kaumudi, who is currently the director general of BPRD (Bureau of police research and development) has been appointed as special secretary (internal security) or SS(IS) in the ministry of home affairs.
Another 1986 batch IPS officer – Jawed Akhtar has been appointed as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guard.