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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Sanjay Arora is Delhi Police chief as Rakesh Asthana retires

Before the ceremony at headquarters, a farewell parade was held for Asthana at Kingsway Camp.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 1, 2022 6:07:52 pm
IPS officer Sanjay Arora will take charge as the Delhi Police Commissioner. (Express)

As he bowed out of office on Sunday, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said he desired to work more, but acknowledged that everyone has to retire one day.

Sanjay Arora, a Tamil Nadu-cadre officer of the 1988 batch of the IPS, will succeed Asthana as Delhi Police chief. Senior officers of the force felicitated the outgoing commissioner on Sunday and thanked him for his service over the past year.

Asthana, an officer of the Gujarat cadre, was appointed to the post on July 28 last year. Arora, who is currently director-general of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), will take charge on Monday.

“Kaafi din se suspense chal raha tha, aaj khatm hua. Main bhi follow kar raha tha – extension hoga, retirement hoga. Kaafi din se suspense tha, aaj khatm hua. It’s a good thing. Main kahan se shuru karoon mujhe pata nahi phir bhi main sabse pehle kehna chahunga ki Delhi Police main jo bhi association ek saal ka mera raha vo mere liye bahut enriching aur satisfying raha — professionally aur personally (There was suspense for a long time, it’s over today. I was also following – will I get an extension, will it be retirement. There was suspense for a long time, it’s over today. It’s a good thing. I don’t know where to start but I would first like to say that my year-long association with the Delhi Police was very enriching and satisfying, both professionally and personally”,” he said.

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“Aaj jab main charge report hand over, sign karne aaya, uss se pehle mere principal staff officer se maine baat ki. Maine unko kaha, usne bhi kaha, ki sir, humein ummed nahi thi ki aap retire ho jaoge. Maine kaha ham maine bhi kaafi zor laga ke kaam kia, abhi tamanna kaam karne ki baaki reh gayee. Ye fact hai, kyunki mujhe abhi bhi lagta tha ki main kaafi kaam kar sakta hoon. Retire zaroor ho gaya hoon but I can do a lot. Delhi Police ke liye, Delhi Police ke officers ke saath, Delhi Police force ke saath, unke liye, Delhi ke liye, desh ke liye, kaam karne ki jo tamanna thi kaafi thi, kia, khoob kia. Mann tha aur karein lekin force main jo bhi join karta hai, service main join karta hai, usko ek din retire hona zaroori hota hai. Main ye isliye keh raha hoon, ye batane ke liye ki mera jo aapke saath association raha vo itna positive association tha ki mujhe ek din ke liye bhi, ek pal ke liye bhi, ye mehsus nahi hua ki ye headache hai, mujhe jaana chahiye (Today, when I came to hand over/sign the charge report, I spoke to my Principal Staff Officer before that. I told him, and he also said, sir, we did not expect you to retire. I said I also worked very hard, the desire to work more is now unfulfilled. This is a fact, because I still felt that I could do a lot more. I have retired, but I can do a lot. For the Delhi Police, with Delhi Police officers, for the Delhi Police force and with them, For Delhi, for the country, I had a lot of desire to work. I did a lot too. I wanted to do more, but those who join the force, those who join the service have to retire one day. I’m saying this to tell you that my association with you was so positive that not even for one day, not for one minute did I feel that this was a headache and that I should leave),” he said.

Arora, the new commissioner, was special director general in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) before taking charge of the ITBP on September 1 last year. In Tamil Nadu, Arora was awarded a medal for bravery and heroic action against forest brigand Veerappan. He was part of the Special Security Group (SSG) for the Chief Minister’s security when the LTTE presented a threat. He has also served as IG (Special Operations) of the BSF, and in Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir with the CRPF.

Before the ceremony at headquarters, a farewell parade was held for Asthana at Kingsway Camp. At headquarters, he spoke with pride about the Delhi Police’s handling of the Jahangirpuri riots of April this year and the Northeast Delhi riots of 2020.

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“I was in Jabalpur and received information that something happened in Jahangirpuri. I immediately called DCP Usha Rangnani and she told me that situation will be handled by the police. I then called Special CP and he told me that he’s reaching in 10 minutes. He assured me that everything will be controlled in an hour and it was (controlled). I was anxious…but I was proud. There was tension because of sensitive situation… Northeast Delhi 2020 was also intense but our officers handled it very well. Later, action was also taken…,” he said.

Asthana expressed gratitude for his predecessor in the post, Balaji Srivastava. “He (Srivastava) had only been commissioner for a month when my order came. He was still very composed and carried himself well. I admire him because he accepted an outsider like me. It is very difficult… He briefed me before leaving, and throughout my tenure he kept in touch and was helpful…,” he said.

“I was sceptical for a moment because of my background…replacing an AGMUT cadre officer but I think we did well… I want to thank everyone. Every person worked during my tenure and did what I expected them to do,” Asthana added.

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Asthana brought some major changes in the force during his tenure. He ordered the PCR unit merged with police stations to reduce the call response time, and asked for law and order to be separated from the investigation unit to ease work.

Major technology-based reforms were introduced. House thefts can now be reported online, and drone technology is being used successfully in investigations.

[An earlier version of this report quoted Asthana inaccurately. The report has since been updated. The error is regretted.]

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First published on: 31-07-2022 at 02:07:49 pm

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