New Delhi: S.A. Ibrahim, an Indian Police Service officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre who has direct experience of anti-terror operations, was Monday appointed director of the Intelligence Bureau, becoming the first Muslim to hold the sensitive post.
The government also appointed Yashovardhan Azad, also an IPS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, as secretary (security) in the cabinet secretariat.
Ibrahim will take over from Nehchal Sandhu who retires Dec 31 this year and hold the post for two years from assumption of charge.
According to an official spokesperson, the government also approved appointment of Ibrahim, currently special director, IB, as officer on special duty in the IB from Dec 1.
"The competent authority has approved the appointment of S.A. Ibrahim, IPS, presently Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, as Officer on Special Duty in the Intelligence Bureau with effect from Dec 1, 2012, and as Director, Intelligence Bureau for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge or until further orders, whichever is earlier, vice Nehchal Sandhu, retiring on Dec 31, 2012," an official release said.
Azad was also special director, IB before his new assignment.
Official sources said Ibrahim will be the first chief of IB from the country's main minority community.
They said Ibrahim has direct experience in anti-terror operations and has handled responsibilites including the Kashmir desk and cyber security cell.
In his initial career, Ibrahim had field postings in Madhya Pradesh and had encounters with dacoits of Chambal ravines.
His appointment comes at a politically crucial juncture as he will be head of IB during the next Lok Sabha polls scheduled for 2014. The sources said the appointment will help counter an impression that members from the community do not make it to top posts in intelligence.