The government had issued orders for appointing Mr Bhatnagar, a 1983-batch IPS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, as the new full-time DG of the force on April 26. The post had been lying vacant for close to two months after K Durga Prasad retired on February 28.
Acting DG Sudeep Lakhtakia today handed over the baton to Mr Bhatnagar, who came back to India last night after attending a conference in Jakarta. Mr Bhatnagar was till now serving as the chief of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
He will have a 32-month long stint as the head of the about 3-lakh personnel strong force as his retirement is scheduled in December, 2019.
Soon after taking charge, he asked his officers to give him a briefing on the recent incidents in Chhattisgarh that claimed the lives of 37 personnel, including the one on March 11 where twelve men were killed in a Naxal ambush in Sukma in the Bheji area.
The CRPF is the country's largest paramilitary force and is deployed as the lead force for conducting anti-Naxal operations and to render a variety of roles in the internal security domain.