New Delhi, Sept. 26: CRPF chief K. Vijay Kumar will address the media on Friday for the last time as director-general of the paramilitary force before retiring on September 30, and possibly ending the extension hopes of fellow DG-rank officers looking for a precedent.
Kumar had been offered a three-month extension, The Telegraph has learnt, but he refused, apparently after having got the hint. “He would have wanted to complete his unfinished work but that cannot be done in three months. The one-year extension could not come through,” said a CRPF official.
Sources said service rules would have had to be amended if Kumar were to be re-employed on a one-year contract. The existing rules have no provision for re-employing IPS officers on contract.
Former Union home minister P. Chidambaram had proposed a year’s “re-employment” on contract for Kumar, primarily to spruce up the CRPF’s anti-Maoist capacities. His successor, S.K. Shinde, also endorsed the idea.
But the Prime Minister’s Office is understood to have decided to stick to the old rule, as an extension for Kumar could have led to similar requests for others.
Kumar’s retirement is set to have two immediate consequences, the sources said. First, several IPS officers could be denied extension.
It is almost certain that BSF director-general U.K. Bansal, also believed to have shown willingness for an extension, will retire at the end of the year. Intelligence Bureau director Nehchal Sandhu, too, may retire in December, unless proposals to extend his tenure are again sent to the cabinet’s appointments committee.
Another immediate fallout could be a spell of uncertainty about structural changes to the CRPF in the face of the Maoist challenge.
Kumar came into the limelight after operations against brigand Veerappan in October 2004. He then headed the Tamil Nadu special task force. Brought in to head the paramilitary force in October 2010 after the massacre of 75 CRPF personnel by Maoists in Chhattisgarh in April that year, Kumar was able to lift the morale of his troops.
At least three officers have been shortlisted as Kumar’s successor. They are NSG director-general Subhash Joshi, Rajasthan cadre officer S.P. Meena and Manmohan Praharaj, a DG-rank officer in Odisha.