Hyderabad: With the tenure of Director General of the elite National Security Guards (NSG) Sudeep Lakhtakia, a Telangana state cadre IPS officer, coming to an end on July 31, the ministry of home affairs under Union home minister Amit Shah has begun the exercise to finalise the name of the new chief for the counter terrorism unit.
The top contenders for the prestigious post are Mr M.A. Ganapathy, an Uttarakhand cadre IPS officer working as Special Director General with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and Mr S.N. Shrivastava, an officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories) cadre who is working with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Sources told Deccan Chronicle that Mr Ganapathy, who hails from Tamil Nadu, is one of the strong contenders for the post. A 1986 batch IPS officer, Mr Ganapathy has held many key posts. He has served as DGP of Uttarakhand and has worked as joint secretary (internal security) in the MHA.
Having graduated in economics from the Madras Christian College, Chennai, he was allotted the Uttar Pradesh cadre. After the state was bifurcated, he was allotted the Uttarakhand cadre. He has the experience of dealing with left-wing extremism and Sikh militancy besides tackling several policing challenges during his career. Mr Ganapathy, an alumnus of National Defence College, Delhi, also had a long stint in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Recently, Mr Ganapa-thy was empanelled to hold the Director-General and Director-General-equivalent level posts at the Centre.
The other contender, Mr Shrivastava, Special DG in the CRPF, had served in the Special Protection Group (SPG) which handles VVIP security, particularly that of the Prime Minister. He also held charge as special commissioner, Delhi police, and has vast experience in policing as he served in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram in various capacities. During his stint in the CRPF, he was supervising the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Both Ganapathy and Shrivastava are among the top contenders and they have an impeccable track record. A couple of more names from the 1986 batch could be considered but these two names have been shortlisted so far,” sources said adding that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) which is likely to meet by the month-end, will give its final approval.
A 1984 batch IPS officer, Mr Lakhtakia had been appointed to the post in January 2018. During his tenure, the NSG’s regional hub was opened in Hyderabad where the ‘Black Cats’ of NSG commandoes undergo training.