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India: Samant Goel - Modi's Spy Chief

The Narendra Modi government recently appointed IPS officer Samant Goel as the new Research and Analysis Wing chief. This comes three months after Samant Goel played key role in India’s counter-attack on the terror infrastructure in Pakistan’s Balakot.

Samant Kumar Goel, New R&AW Chief
In another key development, the government has appointed senior IPS officer Arvind Kumar as the director of the Intelligence Bureau. He is considered as an expert hand on matters related to Kashmir.

The appointments to the top posts in the external and domestic intelligence agencies were made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chairman of this committee.

Both IPS officers are of the 1984 batch and hold the rank of Director General. Goel is from the Punjab cadre while Kumar is from the Assaam-Meghalaya cadre.

Goel replaces incumbent Anil Kumar Dhasmana, who is retiring after two and a half years of illustrious service. He has handled Punjab militancy at its peak in the 1990s.

Before his appointment as R&AW chief, Goel was heading operations for the agency and was instrumental in planning the February 2019 Balakot air strikes and also the 2016 surgical strikes.

February 2019 air strike was planned in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack in which a convoy carrying CRPF jawans were targeted. Forty of the jawans lost their lives in February 14 suicide bombing on Jammu-Srinagar highway. The air strike targeted a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. It was being run by Jaish-e-Mohammed, which had owned responsibility for Pulwama terror attack.

In 2016, surgical strike was carried out after a terror attack in Uri, where terrorists had targeted an army camp. Total casualty in the attack was more than 20. Goel is considered a Pakistan expert in the R&AW.

On the other hand, Arvind Kumar has been involved in tackling Naxal extremism at the Intelligence Bureau. He is holding charge as special director Kashmir at the IB.

Meanwhile, The New Click, online news portal based in Delhi reported, " the newly appointed head of the Research & Analysis Wing in the Cabinet Secretariat Samant Goel had been named in a petition filed by Manish K Sinha, Deputy Inspector General, Central Bureau of Investigation, who had been investigating allegations of corruption against former Special Secretary of the CBI Rakesh Asthana who had a public spat with the then CBI Director Alok Verma. Sinha had claimed that the CBI may become the "Centre for Bogus Investigation" and the Enforcement Directorate, the "Extortion Directorate" in his petition. A NewsClick conversation on the new R&AW chief's appointment."

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Watch here an interview published by NewsCick on this latest appointment of the Modi's Government 

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