The Narendra Modi government has appointed Balakot strategist Samant Goel as head of India’s external intelligence agency R&AW (Research & Analysis Wing). Goel is an IPS officer who replaces Anil Dhasmana at R&AW.
Along with the R&AW, Modi government also appointed Arvind Kumar as head of India’s domestic intelligence agency –the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Both Goel and Kumar are from the 1984 batch of the Indian Police Service (IPS) and hold the rank of Director General. While Samant Goel is from the Punjab cadre, Arvind Kumar is from the Assam-Meghalaya cadre.
Goel succeeds Anil Kumar Dhasmana at the R&AW who will retire after two and a half years of illustrious service. Goel was instrumental in planning the Balakot air strikes in February this year and the 2016 surgical strikes in Pak-occupied Kashmir.
At the IB, it was Arvind Kumar who was leading the Kashmir operations. Kumar had also been at the forefront to tackle Naxal extremism at the Intelligence Bureau. His appointment as the head of IB is expected to give a fillip to counter-terrorist operations within the country.
Appointments to these two top posts of country’s external and internal intelligence agencies was made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.