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New CBI Chief Rishi Shukla Set for Hectic Day 1 as Mamata Banerjee Hands Him His First Challenge

New CBI Chief Rishi Shukla Set for Hectic Day 1 as Mamata Banerjee Hands Him His First Challenge

On Rishi Kumar Shukla's first day in office, the CBI is likely to approach the Supreme Court over alleged obstruction by the West Bengal government in investigations into the Saradha chit fund scam, in which it had sought to question Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

New Delhi: Former Madhya Pradesh police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla took charge as the new CBI director on Monday, with his first major challenge coming from Kolkata where the agency’s attempt to question city top cop Rajeev Kumar triggered a confrontation between Mamata Banerjee and the Centre.

A 1983 batch IPS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, 59-year-old Shukla was appointed the 28th Director General of Police (DGP) of Madhya Pradesh on June 30, 2016. He was shifted to the post of Police Housing Corporation chief last week by the new Congress regime in the heartland state.

Before becoming the DGP in Madhya Pradesh, Shukla had served in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as Joint Director. He also served as Additional Director General of Railways, Narcotics and Homeguards.

Hailing from Gwalior, he was first posted as Assistant Superintendent of Police in Raipur and later as Superintendent of Police in Damoh, Shivpuri and Mandsaur districts. He was on central deputation between 1992 and 1996 and served as Additional Director General, Intelligence, from 2009 to 2012.

Shukla received training in the Crisis Management in the US in 1995 and in hostage negotiations in 2005. He had gone on medical leave in 2017 and again for 45 days in October 2018 to undergo a bypass surgery.

Shukla, who has never worked in the CBI, took charge on Monday from Nageswara Rao who had been appointed interim director of the investigating agency following the ouster of Alok Verma.

A perplexed interim CBI chief M Nageswara Rao was seen scrambling resources to counter the West Bengal Police's action that not only detained a CBI team, which went to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, but also cordoned off the agency's office at the CGO complex in Salt Lake city.

The arrival of 58-year old Shukla, a former DGP of the Madhya Pradesh Police and an Intelligence Bureau veteran, as a full-fledged director is likely to bring some sort of order in the agency as it moves to the Supreme Court to challenge the action of the West Bengal government in ponzi scam cases.

According to the CBI, Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre who led a Special Investigation Team of West Bengal Police probing the scams, needs to be questioned regarding missing documents and files but he has not responded to notices to appear before the agency.

CBI joint director Pankaj Srivastava said the agency's officials had gone to question Kumar on Sunday and " would have rounded him up if he hadn't cooperated with us".