It will be a challenging task, says Ashwini Kumar

August 1st, 2008 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS)Top cop of Himachal Pradesh Ashwini Kumar who was Thursday appointed the new chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says that he takes on a “challenging” assignment, especially at a time when the agency has been accused by the opposition of manipulating cases at the government’s will. “It is going to be a challenging task. I have been associated with the CBI earlier but first let me take charge and then we will see how everything plays out,” Kumar told IANS, a day before he takes over the reins of country’s top investigative agency.

Kumar, a 1973 batch Indian Police Service official, served many years in the CBI before he took charge as Himachal Pradesh director general of police.

His choice as the CBI chief surprised many, say several CBI insiders, as special director M.L. Sharma had emerged as the front-runner considering that he literally grew up in the agency and served in various capacities as inspector general, deputy inspector general, joint director, additional director and then his last post as special director in the last 17 years.

“I thank God and I thank the government for giving me the chance to serve as the CBI director,” said Kumar.

In his earlier stint at the CBI, Kumar was in charge of policy coordination and Interpol. He also served as superintendent of police and deputy inspector.

“Kumar had played a key role in mobster Abu Salem extradition’s case. His name was selected out of the panel of three which also comprised CBI Special Director M.L. Sharma and Karnataka Police chief R. Srikumar,” a CBI official said.

According to procedure, a selection committee, headed by the central vigilance commissioner and including the home and cabinet secretaries, sends a panel of names from three of the seniormost batches to the government for consideration.

The outgoing CBI director, Vijay Shankar also gave his views on the matter. The panel, this time round sent names of officers from the 1971, 1972 and 1973 batches to the government.

Kumar refused to be drawn into discussing what his immediate priorities would be on taking charge.

“I need to talk to all officers to get a sense. But first let me reach Delhi.”

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