| Khagen Sarma |
Guwahati, Jan. 9: Khagen Sarma, a 1982-batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, will succeed incumbent Jayanta Narayan Choudhury as the next director-general of Assam police.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the home portfolio, gave his nod for Sarma as the new DGP last night, an official source said. “An official notification appointing Sarma as the DGP is likely to be issued within the next 24 hours,” he said.
Sarma is currently serving as the director-general of civil defence and commandant-general of homeguards.
When asked what would be his immediate priorities as Assam police chief, Sarma declined to comment, saying: “Let me first take charge.”
Choudhury, a 1978-batch IPS officer, who has been appointed as director-general of National Security Guard (NSG), is expected to hand over charge to his successor anytime after January 26, the source said. Choudhury was appointed Assam DGP in January 2012.
Sarma was selected from a panel of five top cops shortlisted by the State Security Commission.
“Five names were shortlisted during a meeting of the commission held at the chief minister’s official residence here last Saturday. Sarma was selected from among them by the chief minister who signed the file last evening,” the source said.
The four other Assam-Meghalaya cadre officers who were shortlisted by the commission were special director-general of the CRPF Devendra Kumar Pathak, chairman-cum-managing director of Assam Police Housing Corporation Ltd Rajendra Kumar, director-general of civil defence and homeguards of Meghalaya Kulbir Kishan and additional director-general of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Ramesh Chand Tayal.
“Among the five, Sarma and Kumar emerged front-runners as Pathak, Tayal and Kishan were posted outside the state for a long time and had not been in direct touch with the police force here,” the source said.
According to him, despite not being the seniormost, the chief minister finally selected Sarma apparently because of his long experience in dealing with insurgency in the state.
“Sarma’s long stint at the special branch (SB) of Assam police seems to have gone in his favour,” he said.