The 2000-batch officer, Singh, who was posted as the Director of Bureau of Security in the Ministry of External Affairs on deputation in 2017, is a very "calm, good human being and enthusiastic" officer, according to his batch-mates and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
A day after the Delhi Police arrested on charges of planting drugs in the car of an IAS officer's husband parked at CGO complex, officials in the paramilitary force, requesting anonymity, told IANS that it was a "shocking news" for them.
A batch-mate of Singh said that he knew him very well since he joined CISF as an Assistant Commandant and they had trained together.
"I was shocked to know that R.P. (Ranjan Pratap) can indulge in such things. I still don't believe it," the officer, who didn't want to be identified, told IANS.
Another batch-mate of the 42-year-old officer said "Ranjan is a very intelligent and good human being. His track record has been good. In his 19 years of service, he has got three promotions and it was his second deputation in the Ministry of External Affairs."
Singh got his first promotion as a Deputy Commandant, then Commandant and now he is an Senior Commandant, said the CISF, adding he was the security in-charge of Indian Embassy in Nepal during 2010-12.
Asked if CISF is going to take any action against Singh, the force said it would follow the procedure and can reach any conclusion only after receiving a "written" complaint against him.
"First of all the action will be taken by the Ministry of External Affairs where Singh is posted on deputation. When the ministry relieves him and returns him back to his parent cadre, only then can the CISF take action against him," a senior CISF officer said.
Soon after Singh's arrest, the Delhi Police on Thursday claimed that a senior officer of the CISF reported receiving a call at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday about a suspicious car at the Electronics Niketan parking inside the CGO complex - an area near the CISF headquarters.
The officer immediately alerted CISF security personnel as CGO complex is secured by it, the Delhi Police claimed.
"The car owner was traced and the vehicle was searched in his presence. Security personnel recovered 550 gram charas in 52 small pouches stuffed in its boot and under the rear seat. The car owner was held and a case was registered against him under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act," said a police officer.
During investigation, it was found that the caller who had informed the CISF officer about the incident was a street vendor who lives in Mehrauli in south Delhi. He told the police that a man had approached him on Wednesday who took his phone to make an "emergency call".
"Based on the statement of the street vendor, we scanned footage of more than 30 CCTV cameras in the area from where the call was made. In one of the footage a car was spotted and it was recognised by the vendor. The registration number was not clear but a sticker of the Ministry of External Affairs was seen," the police said.
The car was traced and it was found that it belonged to Singh. He initially tried to mislead the police, but when he was countered with other technical evidence, he broke down and confessed to have planted drugs in the car with the help of his advocate friend, the police said.
The police later arrested Singh and his friend Neeraj Chauhan under NDPS Act and criminal conspiracy. An FIR has been registered at Lodi Colony police station.
Singh, police claimed, disclosed that he had met the IAS officer during a training programme and developed fondness for her. He wanted to implicate her husband in a drug peddling case, said the police.
"The accused brought charas from his hometown in Aligarh and roped in his friend Chauhan in the plan. Chauhan had made the call to the CISF officer about the drugs in car," the police said.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)