Governor Syed Ahmed administers polio to a child at Raj Bhavan in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
New Delhi/Ranchi, Jan. 18: Names of two senior officials connected with the internal security issues have been finalised as advisers to Governor Syed Ahmed who will be steering the affairs of Jharkhand while the state is under President’s Rule.
Former Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta and K. Vijay Kumar, who is serving as security adviser on Naxalite management in the Union home ministry, are likely to be formerly assigned their new responsibilities late tonight.
The postings, being discussed about in the last few days, were finalised after President Pranab Mukherjee, who was on a tour of Andhra Pradesh, signed the proclamation on Central rule in Jharkhand, sources in Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
Kumar, who has been a regular visitor to Jharkhand, confirmed his appointment. “There have been talks of appointing me as an advisor to governor Ahmed,” he told The Telegraph. “This will be an important and challenging assignment for me,” he added.
Both Kumar and Gupta, with years of experience in the security establishment, are no-nonsense officers who are expected to get things done in a state known for its bureaucratic lethargy.
While Kumar, a former DGP of the CRPF, is a hard task master known for his hands-on approach to anti-Maoist operations, Gupta is a stickler for details and rules — something that will come in handy as he advises Ahmed on civil matters.
Kumar, who retired as CRPF DGP in September, 2012, has visited Ranchi, Saranda, Latehar, Palamau and other Naxalite strongholds during his tenure. He has also spent a couple of nights at CRPF camps in the forests of the state, an indication of his proactive approach in trouble spots.
It was during Kumar’s tenure that the CRPF and state police launched Operation Anaconda in Saranda in July-August 2011 to successfully “flush out” rebels from their den of decades.
The Centre has already launched an ambitious development programme in the forests of West Singhbhum now being closely monitored by Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.
Kumar’s appointment for Jharkhand is apt as paramilitary forces and the police have already stepped up operations against Maoists in Latehar and its surrounding forests after 10 security personnel were killed in Amuatikar during a recent encounter.
On the challenges facing the state, Gupta said that Naxalism was only one of them. “We will have to look at the larger issue of governance and administration that also impinges on Naxalism,” he told The Telegraph.