Rakesh Asthana gets additional charge as Narcotics Control Bureau chief
The appointment comes at a time when drug problem in several states, especially in Punjab, has assumed alarming proportionsUpdated: Jul 31, 2019 23:49 IST
Ex-CBI special director Rakesh Asthana has been given the additional charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India on Wednesday. Asthana, a 1984 batch officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), is currently serving as the Director-General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
The appointment comes at a time when drug problem in several states, especially in Punjab, has assumed alarming proportions. Earlier this month, the National Investigative Agency (NIA) carried out a 532 Kg Heroin haul from the Wagah-Attari Border – a designated customs and immigration point between India and Pakistan.
Seeking Central help on the case, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had told the Union Home Ministry that “investigations have revealed the involvement of a major international drug racket based in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. It seems that traders based in Lahore have been conspiring with Indian companies.”
“It is a clear indication of the importance being given to tackle the drug problem,” a senior official who did not want to be named said.
The appointment of Asthana coincides with Vivek Johri, also a 1984 batch-IPS officer, who has been appointed as the director-general of Border Security Force (BSF) – the force that guards the Punjab-Pakistan border among others. Also, the government appointed Samat Goel, who was the operations chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), as the head of RAW.
Asthana is also expected to restructure the agency, bringing more synergy between various stake-holders.