New Delhi, November 19 Nehchal Singh Sandhu, a Sikh IPS officer, is set to break the invisible glass ceiling of the closed-door Indian intelligence agency. Sandhu, a 1973 batch Bihar cadre officer, is likely to be appointed head of Intelligence Bureau.
Director of IB, the country’s top espionage and intelligence gathering agency, is considered top post for IPS officers. An expert in counter terrorism, Sandhu, at present, is the senior most officer in the IB behind the incumbent Director Rajiv Mathur.
Sources confirmed that Sandhu, who has spent more than three decades in the IB, has been picked for the top job by a high-level committee. A formal announcement was expected in a day or two. He is expected to join on December 1 and be an “understudy” to Rajiv Mathur for one month.
During the transition period, the outgoing Director keeps the new man in the loop for all decisions, meetings and even on briefings to the Prime Minister, Home Minister or the National Security Adviser on sensitive issues of the country and also on the borders. The sources said some of key elements and information are known only to the Director. These have to be introduced to the new man during the one-month period.
The Intelligence Bureau Director has a fixed term of two years. Within the IB, he is considered an upright officer, straight forward and a “man of action”. The Congress-led UPA, in its first term, had appointed General JJ Singh as the first Sikh Army Chief. In 2009, NPS Aulakh, a Punjab cadre officer of the 1972 batch, was appointed Chief of the National Security Guards (NSG). (Courtesy: The Tribune, November 22, 2010)