Who will be the next NIA chief?

July 14 2013

The head of National Investigation Agency (NIA) N R Vasan is due to retire in the next few days and there is a run for the position among many. Vasan is an IPS from the 1980 batch of Andhra cadre. For now, two names are topmost in the fray for his position. These are IPS officer Sharad Kumar from Haryana cadre of the 1979 batch, who has also been Haryana’s DGP (crime) and is currently DG (jail). His name is being supported by Haryana’s Chief Minister Hooda. Kumar belongs to Bareilly in UP. Because of this he also has a good relationship with the Congress. Sharad Kumar’s biggest adversary in the race for NIA’s top post is K Salim Ali, an IPS from the 1978 batch of Manipur-Tripura cadre. Salim Ali was DGP Tripura and is currently an additional director in CBI. Salim Ali is counted among the capable officers of the country and, as a result, is liked by 10 Janpath. But his problem is that IB’s director Asif Ibrahim is also a Muslim, and if he is made the NIA chief, the BJP may make a big issue of it. Prakash Mishra, the chief of Odisha Police is also in the fray, and is an IPS officer of the 1977 batch and has worked as an additional DG with the NIA in the past. He was also responsible for the investigations regarding the Samjhauta blast. Where Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is concerned, he wants to see Aroop Patnaik, an IPS officer from the 1979 Maharashtra cadre as the next NIA chief. But Patnaik’s problem is that the former Home Secretary R K Singh had made some negative remarks about him on his way out. So the top post may not be so close to him.

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