The Director General of Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), Satya Narayan Pradhan, is a stickler for rules and someone who prefers staying away from limelight and controversies.
Thus, his decision to constitute a five-member vigilance committee to probe the allegations levelled against one of his junior colleagues, Sameer Wankhede, has not come as a surprise to those who know Pradhan’s working style.
People who have known the 1988 batch Jharkhand IPS officer—who has in the past also been the spokesperson of Jharkhand police before moving to central deputation in 2016 and heading the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)—say that in his almost 34 years of service, he has never bent rules to achieve results, something which he expects from his junior colleagues too.
Hence, as soon as allegations, claims and documentary proofs highlighting the role played by Wankhede in the case involving Aryan Khan reached him, he appointed a five-member vigilance team led by Deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh to question Wankhede. His questioning on Wednesday went on for four hours.
“He is not someone who craves TV footage and the presence of mike-wielding reporters around him like many others. He is someone who has lots of personal hobbies which he passionately follows even at this juncture and age, the foremost being his love for music, poetry and singing. Whenever he gets time and opportunity, he uses them on following these hobbies. He is not an IPS officer with an empty mind or someone who is 24×7 focused on enhancing his media profile,” a journalist, who had worked in Jharkhand during Pradhan’s tenure there, recalled.
Pradhan’s past assignment includes working as Superintendent of Police in some of the most challenging positions of undivided Bihar like Bhojpur, Sitamarhi and Nawada. During his posting at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, he taught six batches of IPS probationers during 1998-2003. Before heading the NDRF and now the NCB, he was working as Joint Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) from August 2016 to January 2019. An accomplished singer who regales in performing songs sung by legendary singers Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar, Pradhan did his first stage performance and got an award when he was in class VII in 1975 in Bhubaneswar. The trend continued till 1987 when he graduated from the Jawaharlal Nehru University as a student of International Relations in 1987 before clearing the UPSC. A man of academic bent, he got the Chevening Fellowship in 2003 and went to the University of Essex to pursue LLM in Human Rights, something which he completed with distinction. Pradhan has received the Poet of Merit commendation from the International Society of Poets. He is a two-time winner of the Prime Minister’s Silver Cup Essay Competition organized by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy. He has also co-authored a book on police investigation.