Rakesh Asthana is the new Commissioner of Delhi Police. The Govt of India appointed him just four days before his retirement which was due on 31st July 2021. His appointment has also given him a year of extension in the service.
Rakesh Asthana is a 198 batch IPS officer from the Gujarat Cadre who had served as Police Commissioner of Vadodara and Surat in Gujarat. He led the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Godhra Train burning cases in 2002 in which 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya were burnt to death. The incident had resulted in riots in Gujarat.
He was serving as the Director-General of the Border Security Force (BSF) before being chosen for this top job of heading the Police of the national capital.
Asthana was also additionally handling the charge of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) which reigned in the drugs mafia and Bollywood nexus post the death of actor Sushant Singh.
The Modi Govt had tipped him to be the Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) until he was edged out of the race after being flagged by the Chief Justice of India citing procedural restraint.
Rakesh Asthana gained prominence when he had investigated the fodder scam in the late 90s by former CM of Bihar, Lal Yadav, leading to his conviction. He had also probed Vijay Mallya’s fraud in 2015 and had got extradited Augusta Westland’s middleman Christian Michael from Dubai.
His appointment comes in the wake of an ongoing farmer’s protest in the capital.