Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer R. K. Pachnanda on Friday took over as the new Director General of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) -- the paramilitary force mandated to guard the 3,488 km India-China border.
Pachnanda's appointment comes in the backdrop of a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops over a disputed area along the India-China border in Sikkim. The ITBP, however, is not present in the area as the Army is deployed there.
Pachnanda, a 1983 batch officer of the West Bengal cadre, took over the charge of the 90,000-strong force from Krishna Chaudhary to head it till his retirement in October 2018.
He is the only IPS officer who has served in all the central forces and agencies including the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Special Protection Group (SPG), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and now the ITBP -- which is tasked with rendering a variety of duties in the internal security domain with the responsibility of anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh apart from its primary task of guarding the India-China border at freezing heights of up to 18,700 feet.
Pachnanda was serving as the DG of NDRF. He will continue to hold the charge as NDRF DG until the government appoints his successor or issues further orders.
The new ITBP chief, son of an army officer, has also served in various capacities in his cadre state of West Bengal and was decorated with the Indian police medal for meritorious service in 1999 and the President's medal for distinguished service in 2007.