Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Balakot air strikes planner is new RAW chief

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New Delhi, Jun.26 (HS): Samant Goel and Arvind Kumar have been appointed as Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief and Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief, respectively. They have been appointed by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi as a chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Both are Indian Police Service officers of 1984 batch with Goel belonging to Punjab cadre and Kumar, to Assam-Meghalaya cadre. The two officers will take over this month-end when the extended tenure of IB chief Rajiv Jain and R&AW secretary Anil K Dhasmana ends.
Goel was instrumental in planning the February 2019 Balakot air strikes and the 2016 surgical strikes carried out after the terror attack at Uri brigade, the two strikes that have defined the NDA government’s approach to counter terror emanating from the neighboring country.
Goel had also tackled Punjab militancy at its peak in the 1990s and is a Pakistan expert. A mild-mannered police officer, Samant Goel has impeccable integrity while Arvind Kumar has been closely involved in tackling left-wing extremism at the Intelligence Bureau. The special director-rank officer is also the intelligence agency’s Kashmir expert and has been closely involved in formulating and executing the Centre’s approach on terrorism in the valley.
Kumar started his career in the Indian Police Service from Assam, had moved to the intelligence bureau early in his career after a stint as superintendent of police of Sonitpur, one of the state’s largest districts. He never went back to Assam police and continued to work at the Centre, mostly at the intelligence agency. Samant Goel, in contrast, spent a considerable part of his career in Punjab where he was posted to oversee security, intelligence and the border range.