Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar Appointed New CRPF Chief After Sukma Attack

Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar took over the CRPF chief post that was lying vacant for two months. 

Two days after 25 CRPF personnel were killed in a deadly Naxal attack in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, the government on Wednesday appointed senior IPS officer Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar as the force’s new chief.

The paramilitary force was headless for nearly two months after the retirement of K Durga Prasad on 28 February.

The Centre also plans to procure advanced aerial surveillance equipment, including foliage penetration radar, to monitor the activities of Naxals, who operate in thick forests in Chhattisgarh and other states.

The Home Ministry officials said initial reports from the ground indicated that the nearly 100-member CRPF team – that came under fierce attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma – did not follow the Standard Operating Procedure, which resulted in heavy casualties.

The Centre also plans to revamp the intelligence gathering mechanism to identify problem areas and resolving them for better results.

Also Read: Exclusive: Venkaiah Naidu On Sukma Attack, ‘Gau Rakshaks’ and More

CRPF Facing Increasing Naxal Violence

After dilly dallying for almost two months, the government finally appointed a full-fledged Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force.

1983 batch IPS officer Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, who belongs to Uttar Pradesh cadre, will lead the three lakh-strong CRPF at a time when the force has suffered reverses in the theatre of Naxal violence and is dealing with mounting protests in Jammu and Kashmir.

The foliage penetration radar is the need of the hour and the government was looking for its procurement as early as possible, a senior Home Ministry official said.

The radar can pick up the movement of Naxals on the ground and also click pictures piercing through thick foliage.

(With inputs from PTI.)