Guwahati: Tapan Deka, a former front-ranking leader of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) who also played a crucial role during the historic Assam Agitation, is likely to be the next Director General of Police (DGP) in Assam, said sources.
Deka’s appointment as DGP assumes significance in the run-up to the publication of the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state on August 31.
Kuladhar Saikia, the current DGP, is retiring from his service on August 31 and Deka is likely to take charge on September 1, the sources said. This is probably the second time that Assam will have a police officer belonging to a non-state cadre as the state’s DGP. Earlier Prakash Singh, an IPS officer of 1959-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre, was appointed as DGP of Assam after Operation Bajrang in 1991.
A 1988-batch IPS officer of the Himachal Pradesh Cadre, Deka is currently the joint director, Assam in Intelligence Bureau (IB). Considered as one of the top ‘spies’ of the country, Deka had the distinction to head the global and national anti-terrorism wing of the IB.
Successive governments in Assam were trying to bring Deka, an IB veteran, to the state over the years but were unsuccessful so far. An operations specialist, especially in counter-terrorism, Deka handled cases against the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in Assam during 1993-2001.
During 2006-2012, Deka was the head of the national anti-terror wing of the IB and led all anti-terrorist operations. Known for his very close association with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Deka was reportedly the top spy for India in Washington during 2012-15.
Hailing from Tezpur, Deka has a brilliant academic career. He cleared his High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Examination in 1978. He cleared UPSC’s prestigious civil services examination in his first attempt itself.
Sources told EastMojo that Deka, who was also the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, has reportedly never been in police uniform since 1998.
Meanwhile, Anil Jha and Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta were some of the other probables for the post of the new DGP in Assam.