The Centre appointed Kerala cadre police officer, Arun Kumar Sinha, to head the special protection group (SPG) that protects Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PMs.
A 1987 batch IPS officer, Arun Kumar Sinha is Kerala’s Additional Director General of Police (Special service and Traffic). Apart from a stint in the Border Security Force, Sinha has spent most of his career in the state and is in-charge of protection of women and non-resident Indian affairs.
The SPG had been without a full-time chief for nearly 15 months, after the PMO eased out its director Durga Prasad in November 2014 while he was preparing for Modi’s Nepal visit. Last month, Prasad was finally appointed to head the Central Reserve Police Force.
Sinha will be the third police officer after Prasad’s transfer to lead the team of about 3,000 crack commandoes handpicked from police forces across the country and put through a gruelling training programme.
The senior-most SPG officer, SS Chaturvedi briefly held the charge before the government moved in IPS officer Vivek Srivastava to the SPG from the intelligence bureau to oversee the PM’s security.
Like the PM, Srivastava too has a Gujarat connection -- he is from the Gujarat cadre -- but had spent the past few years in the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
PM Modi had seen Srivastava at work during his 2013 visit to Patna for an election meeting. It was Srivastava, who headed the IB’s Patna office, who coordinated arrangements for Modi’s security after serial explosions went off in the city hours before Modi landed.
Government sources said Srivastava – who was recently given an extension till October 2016 – had indicated his willingness to return to the intelligence bureau.