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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Prasad may join as J&K DGP on Monday

PM’s son-in-law being appointed as IB chief in Kashmir

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Jul 21: Awaiting his formal order of appointment since the day of Mr Kuldeep Khoda’s retirement on May 31st, Additional Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB), Mr Ashok Prasad, is likely to assume office as Director General of Police in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. His junior in the orgnanisation, Mr Ashok Patnaik, is being appointed as the new Joint Director of IB in Kashmir.

Highly placed authoritative sources revealed to Early Times that decks were finally being cleared for Ashok Prasad’s appointment and taking over as DGP of J&K on July 23rd. Following Mr Khoda’s retirement on May 31st this year, J&K cadre IPS officer of 1984 batch, K Rajendra Kumar, has been officiating as DGP. His substantive posting since 2010 is additional DGP Armed Police and Law and Order. Setting aside all speculations, Mr Prasad is now expected to be relieved as Additional Director IB, New Delhi, on July 23rd. Sources said he was likely to fly to Srinagar on the same day and assume office as DGP at the Police Headquarters at 1400 hours.

Since the state Cabinet has already accorded sanction to Mr Prasad’s appointment as the new DGP, Principal Secretary Home, B R Sharma, would be issuing his formal appointment orders with Chief Minister and Home Minister Omar Abdullah’s approval in the forenoon on Monday. “Let him come first, then we’ll see when to issue the formal order of appointment”, Mr B R Sharma told this correspondent. Previously, Mr Prasad was expected to resume his duty at IB headquarters in New Delhi on July 30th and join as J&K’s DGP in the evening on July 31st. Since last month, he has been on leave.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources, however, maintained that there was strong likelihood of Mr Prasad being relieved “not before July 30th”, suggesting his previous schedule of joining as DGP of J&K on July 31st was intact.

But, well-placed sources in Police disclosed that Police Headquarters would specially remain open on Sunday. They said that all offices at the headquarters would function on Sunday and make all preparations of Mr Prasad’s joining at 1400 hours on Monday.

Government sources revealed that all decks of Prasad’s appointment and joining on July 23rd were being cleared even as Chief Minister and a number of his Cabinet colleagues would remain preoccupied with their schedules, including a review meeting of District Development Board Jammu, on Sunday. According to these sources, Chief Minister was keen that the new DGP should take over well in advance of the Independence Day ceremonies on August 15th. He is understood to have discussed the subject in detail with the union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, besides union Home Secretary and Joint Secretary incharge J&K in New Delhi last week.

A resident of Bihar state, Prasad is an Andhra Pradesh cadre IPS officer of 1979 batch. He has remained continuously posted in IB since 1986 and risen to the rank of Additional Director. Until recently, he was functioning as Additional Director of IB in Kashmir. According to the Government sources, he was being succeeded by his junior, Ashok Patnaik. Son-in-law to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Patnaik is being appointed as Joint Director Kashmir.

With five more years of his service, 55-year-old Prasad is likely to function as J&K DGP for the next two years. Even as the incumbent Director of IB is scheduled to reach superannuation in the last two years, and there are four contenders for his succession, Mr Prasad has bright prospects of becoming the new Director of IB in the year 2014. Much would, however, depend on his performance as DGP of J&K for his unofficially stipulated tenure of two years. If things went in that direction, Mr Rajendra could succeed Mr Prasad as DGP in 2014. Currently, Rajendra has 28 years of service in IPS and he is deficient by two years to claim the top most position in J&K Police.


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