Vijay Kumar, 1975 batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was on Thursday appointed as an advisor to Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra. Not many know that Kumar who recently held the post of senior security adviser to MHA, was the chief of the Special Task Force that launched ‘Operation Cocoon’ to nab or kill sandalwood smuggler Veerappan in Tamil Nadu in October 2004. The success of the operation that ended with the killing of Veerappan made him a household name in Tamil Nadu.
Kumar had earlier served in the Kashmir valley as Inspector General of BSF in 1998-2001 when the border guarding force was actively involved in the counter-militancy operations. It was only in 2004 that he shot to fame while heading the Special Task Force (STF) for a long time and strategised operations that culminated in the elimination of the dreaded forest brigand Veerappan.
He was later appointed as Director General of world’s largest paramilitary force — CRPF– after naxals killed 75 personnel in Dantewada in 2010.
Kumar had also worked with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in his Elite Special Protection Group (SPG) from 1985 till 1990, almost an year before his assassination.
It is for the fourth time that J and K was placed under Central rule in the last one decade–all under the tenure of Vohra, who was made the Governor in June 2008. This is the eighth time in the last four decades that the state was kept under Governor’s rule.