JAMMU: After back-to-back extensions given by Centre, Shiv Murari Sahai, the most senior officer of Jammu and Kashmir Police, hanged boots on March 31. Sahai retired as the Joint Secretary in National Security Council (NSC) Secretariat under the direct command of NSA Ajit Doval, where he was posted since October 2016.
Sahai’s seven years spent at the NSC, the apex agency responsible for advising the Prime Minister’s Office on issues of national security and strategic interest and handles internal and external security, conventional and non-conventional defence, military affairs, counter-insurgency, space and high technology, economy, counter-terrorism and environment among others, are a great testimony of the importance of battle-hardened, steel-nerved police officers of Jammu and Kashmir police in handling the key positions at New Delhi.
A detailed analysis reveals that as many as five officers of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, now merged with the AMGUT cadre, are deputed to Cabinet Secretariat at different positions. Four officers of Jammu and Kashmir Police are posted with the National Investigation Agency while three of the senior officers are posted with the Central Bureau of Investigation and as many are posted at the top positions in the Central Reserve Police Force. One of the officers is a Director in the Ministry of Home Affairs, while another officer is posted as Special Commissioner with the Delhi Police.
Here is how other Jammu and Kashmir cops are manning key positions in Modi government.
Cabinet Secretariat a.k.a RAW
Till February this year, Jammu and Kashmir Police had six of its officers deputed to the Cabinet Secretariat, as the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) is known. IGP Nitish Kumar, an IPS officer of 1999 batch was repatriated to Jammu and Kashmir in February this year, after serving for five years as Director in Class-I Executive Cadre of the Cabinet Secretariat at the Centre.
India’s external intelligence agency, a posting in RAW is considered one of the most sensitive. While Pakistan and China were the key focus areas for the agency fifty-five years ago when it was founded, the organisation has expanded its mandate and is credited with greatly increasing India’s influence across the globe.
Jammu and Kashmir Police currently has five of its officers posted in the R&AW, one of them posted as Joint Secretary, the third most-senior position in the cabinet secretariat.
The officer is ADGP Pankaj Saxena. An 1992-batch officer, Saxena is deputed to Cabinet Secretariat as Joint Secretary for the last 13 years. Saxena’s name for his deputation was forwarded on December 7, 2009, and he has been serving in New Delhi since August 2010.
Swayam Prakash Pani, who oversaw the policing in Kashmir during the crucial period of 2018-2019 when Article 370 was abrogated and the erstwhile state was reorganised into two union territories, was appointed as Director in Cabinet Secretariat in January 2020. The officer of 2000-batch has served in the Intelligence Bureau and National Investigation Agency, earlier.
Uttam Chand, another IPS officer of 2002 batch of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre, completed six years in the Cabinet Secretariat this month. An alumnus of prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Chand was the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Rajouri-Poonch range when he was deputed as Deputy Secretary in Class-I Executive Cadre of the Cabinet Secretariat in February 2017.
Atul Kumar Goel, who had caught disgraced Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh while he was ferrying two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists in a vehicle on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway in January 2020, was deputed to Cabinet Secretariat in July 2022. The 2004-batch officer who had earlier served in the NIA, was posted as Director in the Senior Executive Cadre of the Cabinet Secretariat.
Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, an IPS officer of 2011 batch of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre will complete two years in the Cabinet Secretariat next month. Dinkar was deputed to New Delhi as Deputy Secretary in the Class-I Executive Cadre of Cabinet Secretariat in April 2021.
National Investigation Agency
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the primary counter-terrorist task force of India, empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The Agency which came into existence after the deadly 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, has been at the forefront of the war against terror in Jammu and Kashmir. Four officers of Jammu and Kashmir police are currently serving the NIA.
Amit Kumar, the 2006-batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre officer, has been posted with the NIA as the DIG since October 2021. Amit Kumar, then posted as the DIG of South Kashmir range, had suffered life-threatening bullet injury during an encounter in which the Pulwama attack mastermind was killed in February 2019. Kumar, who received a gunshot wound in the abdomen and underwent five major surgeries at Delhi’s premier AIIMS, rejoined duty as the DIG Police Headquarters after over nine months of hospitalisation. In August 2020, Amit Kumar, was conferred with the prestigious Shaurya Chakra.
Shailendra Kumar Mishra, an officer of 2009 batch is deputed with NIA as Superintendent of Police since March 2021. Mishra’s 2017 speech at an event in Mumbai to mark the 9th anniversary of the 26/11 attack had prompted the then police chief SP Vaid to seek an explanation from the officer. Mishra had said that there was no need to rejoice the killings of militants in Kashmir as they were Kashmir’s own kids who had gone astray. ‘They are our own people. They have become thugs, they have become anti-social. We get no pleasure in killing them. These killings are a symbol of our defeat, our collective failure,’ Mishra had said. Then heading an armed battalion, Mishra was made the police chief of Shopian in April 2018, the police chief of Kathua in 2020, from where proceeded to New Delhi. In December 2022, Mishra was promoted as the Deputy Inspector General.
Tejinder Singh, an officer of the 2008 batch, proceeded to the NIA in February 2020, as its Superintendent of Police. In March 2022, Singh was promoted as the Deputy Inspector General.
Rajiv Omparkash Pandey was the latest from Jammu and Kashmir police to be deputed to NIA as Superintendent of Police in October 2021. Pandey who served as SP Rural Jammu, Incharge SSP Jammu, SSP Poonch, and SSP Udhampur earlier was made the SSP Leh in July 2020, which was his last posting before proceeding to New Delhi.
Central Bureau of Investigation
ADGP Viplav Kumar Choudhry proceeded on central deputation in the year 2017. He was posted with the National Investigation Agency and served as its Deputy Inspector General from September 2017 till March 2019, when he was inducted as Joint Director, CBI. Choudhry’s term was slated to end in September 2022, but his deputation tenure was extended for a period of six months beyond 27.09.2022.
Choudhry, who is overseeing recent cases related to online peddling of Child Sexual Abuse Material and the death of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri in Prayagraj, among other special crime cases, was awarded the coveted President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service (PPMDS) on the eve of Republic Day this year.
Abdul Jabbar, a 2008-batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer is working with the Central Bureau of Investigation as its DIG since September 2022. Jabbar, the then SSP Anantnag, had led a team of policemen that killed the poster boy of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir in July 2016. Two weeks later, Jabbar was transferred out of Kashmir in the wake of the violence that rocked the Valley in follow up to Wani’s death. He proceeded on central deputation and joined the Intelligence Bureau before making a comeback to Jammu and Kashmir and served as DIG South Kashmir, before he was inducted into the CBI as Deputy Inspector General in September 2022.
Jabbar, who hails from Aurangabad in Bihar, was awarded President’s Gallantry award for leading the Burhan Wani operation four years later on the eve of Republic Day in 2020. The period for gallantry is for the previous year an exception was made to reward the officer with the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG), which is the highest police medal for valour.
Keshav Ram Chaurasia, an IPS officer of 2003 batch has been working with the Central Bureau of Investigation for 11 years now.
Chaurasia, who was then serving as SP Reasi, had joined CBI’s Economic Offenses wing in June 2012 for probing the infamous coal scam. His deputation term ended in September 2016 but he was not relieved by the CBI, prompting the J&K government to move the Supreme Court seeking his repatriation to Jammu and Kashmir, however, the officer continued with CBI and was given extensions. He was promoted to the rank of DIG in 2017 and to the rank of IGP in 2022.
Ministry of Home Affairs
Rahul Malik, the Jammu and Kashmir cadre police officer of 2009 batch is serving in the Ministry of Home Affairs as a Director. Malik, the then AIG (Tech), PHQ, proceeded to the central deputation as Deputy Secretary in the MHA in October 2021. On December 30 , 2022, the Union government promoted (in-situ) and re-designated Rahul Malik from the Deputy Secretary to Director rank.
Central Reserve Police Force
Vidhi Kumar Birdi, a 2003-batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer is currently serving as Inspector General, Central Reserve Police Force. Birdi was earlier on deputation with the CBI from 2012 till September 2017 during which he was assigned the probe of the coal block allocation scam in 2013 as the investigation officer. After serving in Jammu and Kashmir for a while, he proceeded to join NIA as Deputy Inspector General in January 2020. However, in December 2022, he was appointed as Inspector General, CRPF.
Rajesh Kumar, a senior officer of the 1995 batch is presently serving as the Inspector General, Administration, CRPF. Then serving as Inspector General of Police, SSG, J&K, he was appointed as Inspector General in the Central Reserve Police Force in March 2018. Kumar was posted as head of CRPF Operations in Kashmir in June 2019, months after the deadly terror attack in Pulwama and then moved to the post of IG Directorate General, Northern Sector, CRPF. His deputation term ended on 12 March this year, but only a day before, he was posted as Inspector General, Administration, CRPF.
Udayabhaskar Billa, a 2008 batch IPS officer is serving as Deputy Inspector General, CRPF since January this year. Billa, who was the then SP Leh, was sent on inter-cadre deputation to Andhra Pradesh in November 2017 for a period of 3 years. He returned to Jammu and Kashmir in 2020 and was looking after the charge of DIG North Kashmir Range, till January 2023.
The third most senior officer of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre, DGP Lalatendu Mohanti, is currently posted as special commissioner in Delhi Police, while Abdul Ghani Mir, a senior officer of 1994 batch is presently serving as ADGP, ITBP since July 2021. T Namgyal Kalon, a year junior to Mir, is Inspector General in SSB since August 2022 while Sandeep Choudhary, a 2012 batch officer is deputed with Cyber Crime Investigation Centre for Excellency (CICE) since December 2021.
Four officers of Jammu and Kashmir Police are currently posted in the union territory of Ladakh. 1995-batch officer S S Khandare is heading the Ladakh police since June 2019, Sheikh Junaid Mehmood is posted as DIG Leh & Kargil Range since October 2021, P D Nitya is SP Leh since December 2021, and Anayat Ali Choudhary is SP Kargil since January 2021.