New Delhi: The Government Wednesday gave temporary charge as head of the world`s largest paramilitary force CRPF to Director General of border guarding SSB Pranay Sahay, a move that has perhaps happened for the first time in the force`s 72-year old history.
The top post at the about 3-lakh personnel force, the country`s mainstay for anti-Naxal operations, fell vacant three days back after K Vijay Kumar retired on September 30.
The government is yet to announce a full-time DG for the force and the post is considered important as it has deployed 80 battalions (about 80,000 personnel) for anti-Naxal operations besides fighting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and North East.
An official statement from the CRPF said that Sahay, a 1975 batch IPS officer of Manipur-Tripura cadre and currently chief of Sashastra Seema Bal, has "assumed additional charge" of DG CRPF today.
Sahay has earlier served as the ADG (North zone) in CRPF between 2007-08.
After the retirement of Kumar, Additional DG (headquarters) D K Pathak was looking after the force.
Kumar, a 1975-batch Tamil Nadu cadre police officer, was made the CRPF Director General in October 2010 in the aftermath of the deadly Dantewada Naxal ambush in Chhattisgarh where Naxals killed 75 CRPF personnel.
The CRPF was earlier headless for a day when S I S Ahmed retired on January three, 2008.
The then Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta had issued the orders well past 8 PM and requested V K Joshi to take over the charge in the night.