Dehradun-based Rajiv Mehta, who began his career as a teacher at The Lawrence School, Sanawar, is now a top cop in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). His mission: to end strife in conflict ridden north-east India.
After signing up with the Indian Police Service in 1981, Mehta opted to join the Assam-Meghalaya cadre. “I’m sure I would have failed in any other job. It was immensely satisfying to lend a helping hand to the poor and socially disadvantaged in the north-east, which is seldom on the radar screen of New Delhi,” says Mehta.
An alumnus of St. Columba’s and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Mehta taught for two years at Lawrence School, Sanawar, before joining the Indian Police Service. As an IPS probationer he saw action during the peak of the Assam agitation of 1983, and was entrusted with independent responsibility to restore normalcy in Nellie (Assam’s Nagaon district) after the communal bloodbath of 1983.
“Contrary to popular perception, a career in the IPS opens doors and windows to a variety of differing and interesting assignments,” says Mehta who was the youngest superintendent of police in Guwahati, after which in 1986 he was instrumental in training officers in professional skills pertaining to VIP security in Delhi in his capacity as leader of the Close Protection Team of former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh, Chandrashekhar and Narasimha Rao. Subsequently in 1992, he was appointed advisor to the Indian mission in the European Economic Community in Brussels.
Returning to the IPS, Mehta served as deputy inspector general-cum-superintendent of police, East Khasi Hills, Shillong (1994-1997), and as deputy inspector general, Eastern Range, Shillong (1997-99) before being promoted to Inspector General (law & order/training/armed police) in September 2000. Thereafter he joined the elite Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force as Inspector General in 2003 and has been entrusted with the politically sensitive responsibility of supervising the international border with China from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Lipulekh Pass in Kumaon, a boundary of 2,115 km.
“I have never regretted my decision to join the IPS — an immensely challenging job with the opportunity to serve my nation, which I intend to do even after retirement,” says Mehta.
Natasha Pathak (Dehradun)