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ATS gets life with IG in charge

Patna, Nov. 21: The state’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS) was made operational on Thursday after the government posted senior IPS officer Paresh Saxena as its first inspector-general (IG).

The move, aimed at countering terrorist activities, has been initiated after Bihar witnessed two serial bomb blasts — one in Bodhgaya and the other in the state capital — on July 7 and October 27 respectively. While seven persons were killed and over 80 others were injured in the Patna explosions, two Buddhist monks suffered grievous wounds in the string of blasts on the premises of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara (Bodhgaya).

Saxena, who is from the 1994 IPS batch, is known as a no-nonsense officer in police circles and had earlier served as the superintendent of police (SP) of several Naxalite-hit districts, including Gaya. He was also posted as the DIG of Kosi range, considered to be a crime-prone region. He held the charge of IG in the special branch, the intelligence wing of the state police, before being shifted to the ATS.

The cabinet had approved the creation of 344 posts for the ATS after the Bodhgaya blasts. The ATS, headed by an IG rank officer, would have one DIG and one SP besides six DSPs, 12 inspectors, 16 assistant sub-inspectors and havildars and 194 constables.

Saxena is among the 14 IPS officers who were transferred today by the government. Among them are three DIGs and the rest are officers of the rank of SP. Araria, Purnea, Bettiah (West Champaran), Arwal, Madhepura and Saharsa got new SPs.

The shuffling in the police hierarchy is being viewed as a pre-election exercise. Several officers considered close to the powers-that-be have been given field postings.

Kosi range DIG Sanjay Singh has been shifted to Bhagalpur from where BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain is the sitting MP. Amit Kumar Jain, known for his proximity to a senior BJP leader and former minister, has been moved to Shahabad range. His Shahabad counterpart Ajitabh Kumar has been transferred to the Kosi range. BJP’s MP from Purnea, Udai Singh, is at loggerheads with chief minister Nitish Kumar.

New SPs

Saharsa SP Ajit Kumar Satyarthi has been shifted to Purnea. Purnea SP Kim to be SP (weaker section), CID. Vijay Kumar Verma will be the next SP of Araria. Md. Akhtar Hussain moves from Araria to Arwal.

Arwal SP Anand Kumar Singh will be chief of Madhepura. Madhepura SP Saurabh Kumar Sah has been shifted to Bettiah.

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