Sadanand Vasant Date, cop who played a key role in 26/11 operations appointed chief of NIA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Sadanand Vasant Date, cop who played a key role in 26/11 operations appointed chief of NIA

By, New Delhi
Mar 28, 2024 01:00 PM IST

Date had set a courageous example for the police force when he took on two of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who stormed Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

The appointments committee of the Cabinet approved the names of new chiefs for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) on Tuesday.

Sadanand Vasant Date moves to head the country’s premier investigating agency NIA from his present post as chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (HT)
Sadanand Vasant Date moves to head the country’s premier investigating agency NIA from his present post as chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (HT)

Maharashtra cadre officer Sadanand Vasant Date who was awarded President’s medal for Gallantry for saving lives and countering terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has been appointed the new NIA chief. Piyush Anand is the new NDRF DG and Rajeev Kumar Sharma is the director general of BPRD. Date and Sharma are from the 1990 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS) while Anand is from the 1991 batch.

Date moves to head the country’s premier investigating agency NIA from his present post as chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). He had set a courageous example for the police force when he took on two of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives who stormed Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

The officer, then posted as the additional commissioner of police, Central Region, rescued a lift operator held hostage by Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail, leader of the 10-man gang at the Cama and Albless Hospital in south Mumbai. Kasab and Ismail who had walked into the children’s hospital after their killing spree at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus were cornered by Date and a small team of Mumbai policemen.

Even as the terrorists opened fire and hurled grenades at them, Date and his team managed to rescue lift operator Chandrakant Tikke who was being used as a human shield by Kasab. Date suffered a blackout in the grenade attack, allowing for Kasab and Ismail to escape. He received injuries to his eyes, throat, chest, right knee and suffered deep wounds on his left ankle. Two men from his team were shot dead by the terrorists before they fled. Within 15 minutes after getting out of the Cama and Albless Hospital, Kasab and Abu Ismail killed the-then ATS chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte in an adjoining lane.

Weeks before the Mumbai attack, Date had stood up for his men after they killed a 23-year-old man from Patna who had used a country-made revolver inside a double-decker bus to injure one passenger and hold 13 others captive. Rahul Raj, the man from Bihar, had been left enraged after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s strident campaign against Bihari immigrants.

The three officers will take charge on March 31 upon the superannuation of the three current chiefs— Dinkar Gupta of NIA, Atul Karwal of NDRF and Balaji Srivastava of the BPRD.

Gupta was earlier the Punjab director general of police (DGP), Karwal was director of the SVP National Police Academy and Srivastava had held additional charge of Delhi police commissioner for nearly a month in 2021.

Ahead of the implementation of the three criminal laws, BPRD is actively involved in training police officers across the country and working to create software that connects police stations across the country. BPRD has, in the last three months, completed training of trainers (ToTs) for almost all police forces. These trainers will train the other police personnel in the new laws.

NDRF with a strength of over 18,000 personnel, is India’s national disaster response force. Last year, the force was involved in the rescue operations at the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarakhand where 41 workers were trapped, and also assisted in international rescue operations during the Turkey- Syria earthquakes.

Apart from the three appointments, ACC also approved the proposal of the Home Ministry to repatriate 1989 batch officer PV Ramashastri to his parent cadre, Uttar Pradesh. Ramashastri is at present the special DG (operations) in BSF.

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