Years ago, a swashbuckling journalist tried to barge into the Rashtrapati Bhavan without an entry pass. But this dashing young officer of the Delhi Police stood his ground and did not buckle under pressure, as the names of almost the entire Cabinet of Ministers were dropped by the mediaperson. It was just one of many piquant situations that Anand Mohan found himself in throughout his almost decade long innings with the Delhi Police. There was no dearth of VIPs in the national capital who would brazenly flaunt their ‘don’t you know who I am’ attitude. Without getting hot under the collar, this 1994 batch IPS officer would “remain calm and like a rock”.
A brilliant student, Anand was among the three IPS officers that the History Department of Loyola College used to proudly hold up as role models for their freshers, year after year. The other two are the present Commissioner of Police, Chennai Dr.A.K.Viswanathan and Inspector General of Police Davidson Asirvatham. Post Loyola, came a predictable jump to the premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for a Masters in International Relations, followed by a semester of M Phil before the Civil Services beckoned in 1994, with a berth in the IPS, assigned to the Union Territory cadre.
Quite like a Bollywood movie, Anand’s first posting was as Assistant Commissioner of Police, of the frenetic commercial hub – Connaught Place. If this was baptism by fire, confirmation of more sensitive posts came in the form of Additional Deputy Commissioner – New Delhi and then as Deputy Commissioner of the Prime Minister’s Security. “This was a zero error job” where he had to oversee and coordinate the highest security apparatus covering the visits of “more than a hundred Heads of States” at all the PM’s events. Anand’s three year stint as the Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, was among his “toughest” assignments. As Jantar Mantar, Parliament and India Gate fell under his jurisdiction, “there was not a day without some demonstration or the other” and with the “everyone is someone” syndrome, that his tenure was relatively ‘incident free’, came as a relief.
From VIP movements to the murky terrain of crime, Anand had to tackle criminal gangs operating from the Western Uttar Pradesh side, as the Deputy Commissioner of Police – East Delhi. Kidnapping for ransom was prevalent. A two year old child had been kidnapped and whisked away to Uttar Pradesh. “I formed 5 special teams for the hunt. That was the time my dad was undergoing an operation at Escorts Hospital and I was shuttling between the hospital and office. It turned out that the kid’s mother was a staff nurse with friends at Escorts Hospital. When the nurses got to know that I was the officer investigating the case, they requested me to take special care.” The case was cracked within a week and the child was reunited with the parents. “The look on the faces of the parents and the rescued child was unforgettable and gave me immense saitisfaction.”
As he left Delhi, Anand headed to the former French colony of Pondicherry as the Senior Superintendent of Police (Law & Order). There was a live encounter with a gang of hardened criminals. “The encounter was covered live on TV and my wife was watching the action with bated breath, terrified with every shot fired. The cameraman of the tv channel was right behind me! The criminals ultimately surrendered. We had recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition including about a hundred gelatin sticks.”
Coastal Security and the “arrest of foreign poachers who were trading in exotic marine species like sea cucumbers” was part of Anand’s next stint as the Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Andamans. There was also a big “humanitarian crisis” as Rohingyas, who had set sail from Burma, were left to drift into the Andamans by the Thai Navy. We had to set up a camp and they were repatriated through embassy channels.”
Anand’s deputation with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) began with manning the Training Centre at Arakonnam as the Deputy Inspector General of Police and later as the DIG of Airports in the South Zone. “We had to tackle several hoax calls without taking any chances and also not triggering panic among passengers.” On his promotion as the Inspector General of Police, Anand was transferred to Mumbai in charge of the Western Sector of the CISF. Nuclear installations and other sensitive projects in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh came under his sway. Currently posted as the Inspector General of Police – CISF (Southern Sector) he is now at the helm of security of the Madras High Court, Sea Ports, Coal & Lignite Mines, Space Installations and Steel Plants.
Once an opening batsman for the Delhi Police Team, this former champion cricketer from Santhome High School in Chennai, is open to conducting a friendly cricket match with lawyers of the High Court his men protect. Introduced to marathons by his former senior colleague in the CISF – Dr. Jayant Murali, the present Additional Director General of Police, CB CID, Tamil Nadu, Anand, after two marathons under his belt, is dusting his keds for an upcoming marathon in February. Work aside, his priority is to cut his teeth in family outings with his dentist wife – Sangeetha and play doting dad to Saina and Saiyansh. But whether he is protecting and securing our vital installations or chilling out at home, Anand Mohan ensures that he is always on his toes. To let his light shine. Like a true blue Loyolite.