At a time when over half-a-dozen senior appointments in the internal security establishment of the country remain vacant, the government in a curious step has “temporarily diverted” a crucial second-in-command post in the ITBP leaving the vital China frontier force without an ADG rank officer.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), sometime back, issued orders shifting the entire office of the Additional Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to another paramilitary force for a time period of over three months.
Serving the ITBP, ADG Mahboob Alam, a 1981-batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was made DG National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) till his retirement on May 31 and after this, the post will again go back to ITBP.
“Usually officers are transferred from one paramilitary force to the another but shifting of an entire post and an office of the ADG rank lock, stock and barrel has rarely been heard,” a senior security official said.
The ITBP, which forms the first line of defence against the Chinese along India’s eastern sector, is currently functioning with its top commander DG followed by Inspector General (IG) rank officers.
After the transfer orders, the responsibilities of the ITBP ADG has been distributed amongst the four IGs deputed at the paramilitary forces’ headquarters in the national capital.
The staff of ITBP ADG has also been transferred and it is now working from the NDRF headquarters in R K Puram, Delhi.
The office of the ADG forms a crucial link between the DG and other officers and usually this officer in the ITBP supervises the operational activities of the force along the 3,488-km long Indo-China border and other internal security tasks like anti-Naxal operations in states like Chhattisgarh, officials said.
The MHA’s decision comes at a time when the post of Secretary (Internal Security), Secretary (Cabinet Secretariat), three ADG/Special DG posts in CRPF and two ADG posts in the BSF are lying vacant from a varying period between two to five months.
All these posts are occupied by senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.