NEW DELHI: IPS officer Rakesh Asthana on Tuesday took charge as the new Director General (DG) of the Border Security Force that guards India's fronts with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
A 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre, Asthana (59) was handed over the baton of the about 2.65 lakh personnel-strong force by ITBP DG S S Deswal in the morning at the BSF headquarters at Lodhi Road, a force spokesperson said.
Deswal, his batchmate from the Haryana cadre, has been heading the BSF in an additional capacity since March 11 after the then DG Vivek Johri was transferred to head the Madhya Pradesh Police.
The new DG was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour by a column of troops before he took charge, the spokesperson said.
Asthana is the 27th chief of the force and is expected to hold office till July next year, his scheduled date for retirement from service.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday issued orders for the appointment of Asthana, who has been serving as the DG of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) till now apart from heading the Narcotics Control Bureau in an additional capacity.
As per the ACC order, Asthana will continue to hold the NCB charge.
The police officer has served in various capacities in Gujarat Police apart from serving in various ranks of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Asthana, while serving as the special director of the CBI in 2018, had a bitter feud with his senior and CBI Director Alok Verma as they both levelled allegations of corruption against each other.
Both the officers were later removed from the central probe agency by the Union government and Asthana was subsequently cleared of the charges.
The new DG, officials said, met senior officers and was briefed about the operational situation at the two borders soon after he took charge.
The BSF is primarily tasked with guarding Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from rendering a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country.