Neeraj Kumar is new Delhi Police chief

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, June 28 (IANS) Neeraj Kumar, a senior Delhi Police officer, was Thursday named the next chief of the national capital's police force.

The 1976 batch Indian Police Service officer will succeed B.K. Gupta, who retires June 30 after over 37 years of service.

Kumar is at present the director general of Delhi prisons.

The announcement of his appointment was made by the union home ministry here.

Before joining the prisons department, Kumar was posted as Special Commissioner of Police (headquarters), Delhi Police, and was in charge of overall security arrangement for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

In February 2012, he was invited by the British government to share his experience of the CWG arrangement for the benefit of the British police who have to ensure security for the 2012 London Olympics.

Kumar joined Delhi Police as probationer after completing his graduation and post-graduation from St Stephen's College in 1973 and 1975 respectively. He first served as assistant commissioner of police for Chanakyapuri in 1979.

Kumar also had a long stint in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), where he led the investigations in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

He headed the special cell of Delhi Police as joint commissioner in 2002.

He is from the AGMUT (Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram, and other Union Territories) cadre.

Outgoing police chief, B.K. Gupta, also from the same cadre, had taken charge from Y.S. Dadwal in November 2010 after the Commonwealth Games.

Kumar had received the President's Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 1992 and President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1999.

Kumar's role in handling the 1984 riots was praised by various inquiry commissions appointed by the government to probe the role of the police during the fours days of violence.

During his tenure in Traffic Police, he introduced several innovations like Pre-Paid Taxi Service at the airport (operational till date), free eye camp for truck drivers, and micro-processor based traffic signals.

In 1992, he unearthed a state-run multi-crore lotteries scam and wrote a monograph titled 'A Matter of Chance'. The government produced the document in the Supreme Court, which led to the banning of lotteries in the country.

During his tenure as CBI chief, the serial train blast cases of 1994, which occurred on the first anniversary of Babri Maszid demolition, were cracked.

His tenure in the investigative agency is also highlighted by the solving of the Meenakshi Amman Temple blast case of Madurai, the arrest and deportation of American Center attack mastermind Aftab Ansari from Dubai.

His tenure also saw the arrest of an accused in the assassination of the then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

During his current tenure as a Director General (Prisons) more that four hundred inmates have been given jobs. He has also started a semi-open jail in Delhi. His latest initiative is 'Sparsh', a scheme for the welfare of nearly 2,500 inmates who do not get any visitors.