Asthana taught history before becoming IPS officer

Rakesh Asthana

CBI Special Director, Rakesh Asthana, in the eye of a storm over bribery allegations, is a Gujarat cadre IPS officer but was born in undivided Bihar. 

Rakesh’s father H R Asthana was one of the best Physics teacher at Netarhat School, one of the prestigious educational institutions in undivided Bihar, in the 1960s and the 70s.

Born in 1961 in Ranchi, now a capital of Jharkhand, Asthana did his schooling from Netarhat and then completed his intermediate from St Xavier’s College, Ranchi in 1978.

After attaining his higher education from Jawahar Lal Nehru University in New Delhi, Asthana taught history at St Xavier’s College in Ranchi for a short span. Eventually, he cleared his UPSC examination in 1984 in his first attempt. The IPS officer got Gujarat cadre.

Asthana shot into limelight in 1994 when he investigated the Purulia Arms Drop case. But he became a household name when he interrogated Lalu Prasad in the much-publicised fodder scam in 1996.

 “Such was the aura of Lalu Prasad during the mid-90s that no police officer could dare to quiz the then chief minister of Bihar. But Rakesh Asthana interrogated Lalu for six consecutive hours. It was on the basis of this probe that a charge-sheet was filed in the fodder scam, which eventually led to Lalu’s arrest in 1997,” a senior journalist, now retired, told DH here on Monday.

Rakesh was then barely 35 years old and posted here as CBI SP.

Twenty years later, the same IPS officer, after becoming Additional Director in the CBI, was monitoring IRCTC scam in 2017. Asthana leads the raid against Lalu and his family members in July 2017 in connection with irregularities in handing over two hotels (one each in Ranchi and Puri) when Lalu was Railway Minister in UPA-I. The disputed land in question is presently owned by LaRa projects (named after Lalu and Rabri and therefore called Lara scam).

Earlier, he had investigated the Godhra incident and Ahmedabad blast case.

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Asthana taught history before becoming IPS officer

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