Samant Goel, key-planner of Balakot operation, appointed R&AW chief
The two most prominent spy agencies of India - Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), got new chiefs on Wednesday. While R&AW will be headed by Samant Goel, Arvind Kumar was declared as the chief of IB. Both these appointments were sanctioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Here's all about the officers.
Known for impeccable integrity, Goel handled Punjab militancy in 90s
Goel will succeed incumbent Anil Kumar Dhasmana, who is retiring from the illustrious post after two and a half years. A 1984-batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre, Goel has been associated with R&AW since 2001. He has a strong background and handled militancy in Punjab in the 1990s. A senior officer described Goel as a mild-mannered officer having impeccable integrity.
Goel planned Balakot operation, was involved in surgical strikes too
Quite recently, Goel played a vital role in making the Balakot operation a success. The airstrikes were launched to avenge the dastardly Pulwama attack of February 14, in which 40 soldiers were martyred. The spy agency collected primary intelligence and selected targets for the airstrikes. Goel also planned the 2016 surgical strikes which were executed after Pakistan's terrorists killed soldiers in Uri army camp.
Goel is an expert on matters related to Pakistan
After spending many years in Punjab, Goel came to Delhi for his first assignment in R&AW in 2001. Referred to as R&AW's "operations man", Goel has a deep understanding of Pakistan and is one of the most dependable officers.
New R&AW and IB Chief belong to same IPS batch
Like Goel, the new IB chief, Arvind Kumar is also a 1984-batch IPS officer. Kumar belongs to Assam-Meghalaya cadre and will succeed Rajiv Jain. He started his career in Assam Police but soon moved to IB. He was the superintendent of police in Sonitpur, which is one of the largest districts of Assam. Kumar joined IB in 1991 and hasn't looked back since.
Kumar is an expert on Kashmir and Left-wing extremism
Kumar is an expert on Left-wing extremism. During UPA-II era, when Maoism was at its peak in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, Kumar led anti-Maoist operations. Kashmir crisis is also one of Kumar's strongholds. He formulated the Centre's approach to deal with militancy and overlooked anti-terror operations. Notably, in the last three years, 700 terrorists were eliminated in the valley. He also worked against terror-funding networks.
Kumar and Goel will take respective offices on June 30
Both Kumar and Goel will take charge on June 30. Interestingly, Goel was supposed to retire in May 2020, and Kumar this year. But now, both officers will remain in office for a fixed two-year term.