The appointment committee of cabinet presented counter-terrorism outfit, the National Investigative Agency (NIA), with Yogesh Chandra Modi as its new face on Monday.
Modi is a 1984-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IPS officer. He joined NIA as officer on special duty on September 22. Prior to that, he had worked with CBI for 10 years in two skimps (2002-2010 and 2015-2017) where he was involved in special criminal cases and economic infractions, besides anti-corruption drive.
His appointment as Director General of NIA attracted much attention and controversy, given the fact that Modi was a part of the Supreme Court’s Special investigation Agency (SIT) that gave a clean chit in 2002 Gujarat Riot case.
Public opinion on the appointment is already quite skeptical. It is even alleged that the appointment is a favour returned. Irrespective of the controversies that surround his appointment, this would be a much more demanding and challenging role for Mr. Modi than his predecessors.
He will take the handover from Sharad Kumar, who directed investigations in high profile cases, such as the Bodhgaya Temple blast, Patna Rally blasts, the Pathankot airbase attack, United liberation Front, Fake Indian currency case, ISIS links and the Jammu and Kashmir terror-funding case, of which most have resulted in convictions. This has raised the bar of expectation from the new NIA chief.
Further, the UNGA 2017 confrontation with Pakistan on terrorism, BRICS summit 2017 agenda on countering terrorism, the Doklam Standoff, Dawood’s presence in Pakistan and UAE links to terror funding, call for all the more innovative, tactical and farsighted approach on ground to counter terrorism. The call for revoking J&K special Article, 370, by BJP is rousing extremism. Given the circumstances, the role is becoming much more demanding.
Given his involvement in the 2002 Gujarat Riots case, it is expected that his work will be under critical public lens. And considering the Narendra Modi angle and the ongoing pre-election drive, he will be keenly observed by the opposition in context to his strategy and performance.
Although he has had experience of working for the CBI and NIA for a brief tenure, the dynamics of this role will be much more strenuous and demanding.
A lot is expected, a lot needs to be done and his tenure has just begun.