SPG gets a new chief, old one in the lurch

  • Aloke Tikku & Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 26, 2014 07:38 IST

In a curious move, the government on Tuesday appointed Special Protection Group (SPG) director K Durga Prasad’s successor without telling Prasad his next assignment.

The order was issued while Prasad, a 1981 batch IPS officer and his successor, SS Chaturvedi (1990 batch) were travelling with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kathmandu.

“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has directed that the charge of Director, Special Protection Group may be looked after by the next senior-most officer till the appointment of a suitable successor,” the order issued by the Department of Personnel & Training said. The order did not say when the successor would take charge.

When contacted by HT, Prasad said he wasn’t aware of the order.

It turned out that a copy wasn’t even marked to him.

“Since the order has come, I will call the cabinet secretary in the morning to seek my next posting and whether I should stay in Kathmandu, or come back," Prasad told HT.

Prasad had joined the SPG – that has the mandate to guard the Prime Minister and former PMs – in 2011 and was on extension.

His term had ended earlier this month on 2 November but was informally told to continue till the government found a replacement. A panel of four senior officers including NDRF chief OP Singh and Gujarat cadre AK Singh has been shortlisted.

It wasn’t clear if Tuesday evening’s appointment order was intended to send a message or a botched up job by the bureaucracy.

Senior DoPT officials remained unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts.

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