Hours after being pulled up by the Bombay High Court for not appointing a full time chief of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), the Maharasthra government Thursday evening named K.P. Raghuvanshi as the new head of the elite counter-terrorism force.
Home Minister Jayant Patil also announced in the Maharashtra assembly that the post has been upgraded to the level of additional director-general of police from special inspector general of police.
Raghuvanshi, presently the additional director-general of police (Railways), has been holding additional charge of ATS since Nov 27, 2008, after its then chief Hemant Karkare was gunned down during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
More than seven months after the attacks, the absence of a full-time chief of the ATS had irked the Bombay High Court, which Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to appoint a new chief for the force within a month's time.
Presently on a fortnight's leave and in New Delhi, Raghuvanshi told IANS that he would assume charge after resuming duties but declined to answer any further questions.
The first chief of the ATS when it was set up in 2004, Raghuvanshi brings with him a rich experience in investigating several terror incidents in Mumbai and around the state.
He had led the investigations into the Mumbai suburban trains serial bombings of July 11, 2005, and later took over the probe of the Malegaon bomb blast of September 2008.
Karkare had been appointed as the head of the elite squad in January 2008 and served in that position for barely 11 months until his death in the Nov 26 terror attacks.