New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh cadre IPS officer K Durga Prasad is likely to be the next head of elite Special Protection Group (SPG) taking over from B V Wanchoo, who retires on Monday after having the longest tenure of seven years.
   
Prasad, a 1981 batch IPS officer who is at present posted as Additional Director General of Police (Sports) in AP, has however no previous experience in the SPG, a force which was primarily created to guard the Prime Minister of the country and their immediate family members.
   
Besides the Prime Minister, SPG also guards Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and her two children - Rahul and Priyanka. Prasad was among the two officers interviewed for the post and it is understood that the Government has cleared his name to head the 23-year-old force.
   
Once a formal order is announced, the post of Director SPG will also be downgraded to Additional Director General's post from the Director General's post at present, sources said on Sunday.
   
Though Prasad is only in the rank of Inspector General at the Centre, it was expected that after his selection, he would be empanelled in the rank of Additional Director General.
   
Prasad, who had served in the state anti-Naxal force - Greyhounds - was handpicked for heading the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) in 2008 but returned to his parent cadre in less than a year on personal grounds.
   
Wanchoo, a 1976 batch IPS officer from West Bengal cadre considered a close confidante of Gandhi family, retires on Monday after having a distinction of serving the elite force for longest tenure as SPG Chief.
   
His first tenure with the elite force was way back in the late 80s when the specialised force had just been set up. Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister then.
   
After completing his first stint, he has been in and out of the force on assignments to protect the Congress President and recently he was part of the inner team which was in charge of overseeing Gandhi's security during her treatment abroad.

Agencies