Bhatnagar takes charge as CRPF chief

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New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Senior IPS officer Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar on Friday took charge as the new Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), four days after the force lost 25 troopers in a deadly Maoist attack in Chhattisgah’s Sukma district.

The government appointed the 1983 batch Indian Police Service officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre for the post nearly two months after the retirement of previous chief K. Durga Prasad on February 28.

Bhatnagar, 57, took charge at the CRPF headquarters here at Lodhi road and was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour.

Acting CRPF chief Additional Director General Sudeep Lakhtakia, a 1984-batch Telangana cadre IPS officer, handed over the baton to Bhatnagar this morning, hours after he returned to India from Jakarta on Thursday night after attending a conference.

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Bhatnagar was till now serving as the chief of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

He has been appointed as the head of the about 300,000 strong force till December 31, 2019, the date of his retirement or till further orders.

Just after taking charg, Bhatnagar asked his officers to give him a briefing about the operational situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the April 24 Maoist ambush that left 25 troopers of the force dead in the bloodiest attack since 2010 when 76 CRPF troopers were killed.

Twelve CRPF men were killed in a similar Maoist attack in Sukma on March 11.

Addressing officers, Bhatnagar said “the force should be learning organisation” and that they must improve as they go long.

He directed the senior officers to closely interact with the troopers.

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“Grevance redressal and welfare of troopers, camaraderie and close interaction with them is essential for all officers,” said Bhatnagar, stressing the need of having appropriate technology to support the force personnel.



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