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J&K top cop strong contender to head NIA

January 13, 2009 18:28 IST

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Radha Vinod Raju, Special Director General of Police in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], is among the front-runners for the post of National Investigation Agency chief.

A 1975-batch IPS officer, 59-year-old Raju, who heads the vigilance department in the militancy-hit state, is believed to have been short-listed for the coveted post in view of his knowledge of investigating high-profile cases, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi [Images].

Two other senior IPS officers -- A P Singh and S C Sinha -- are the other contenders for the crucial post and have been interviewed by a government panel.

Singh is a 1974 batch IPS officer from Jharkhand while Sinha is a Haryana cadre officer of 1975 batch.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] is also believed to be keen on Raju's appointment. Official sources said the ministry has written to Jammu and Kashmir government seeking release of Raju, who is due to retire on July 31, this year.

If appointed, Raju may get a confirmed tenure of one year as the first chief of the NIA, sources said.

Raju, who has served in various capacities in the Central Bureau of Investigation and returned to his parent cadre after being promoted as additional director in the investigating agency, also had a stint in the vigilance department.

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