Balakot strategist Goel to head RAW, Kashmir expert Kumar IB

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 26

The government today decided to appoint two senior IPS officers of 1984 batch Samant Goel and Arvind Kumar as the next heads of India’s external (RAW) and internal (IB) intelligence agencies, respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), has also cleared a proposal relating to empanelment of the 1986-batch IPS officer in the rank of Director General.

Sources in the North Block said Home Minister Amit Shah, as the other member of the ACC, had signed the file before leaving for Jammu and Kashmir today.

According to two separate orders from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the ACC has approved their appointments for a fixed two-year tenure.

Goel, a Punjab-cadre officer, and Kumar from Assam-Meghalaya cadre will take charge on June 30. Goel replaces incumbent Anil Kumar Dhasmana, who is retiring after two-and-a-half years of tenure and Kumar replaces Rajiv Jain. Both Dhasmana and Jain were appointed in December 2016 and were given a six-month extension as the country moved into election mode.

Before his appointment as RAW 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.

Kumar has been involved in tackling Left-wing extremism at the IB. He currently holds the post of Special Director, Kashmir, in the agency and has been closely involved in formulating and executing the Centre’s approach on terrorism in the valley.

Goel has spent a considerable part of his career in Punjab where he was posted to oversee security, intelligence and the border range. The IPS officer came to Delhi on his first assignment at RAW in 2001 and has stayed back.

Punjab link

Punjab-cadre officer Samant Goel has spent a considerable part of his career in his parent state, where he was posted to oversee security, intelligence and the border range. The IPS officer came to Delhi on his first assignment at RAW in 2001 and has stayed back

RELATED Pakistan reopens airspace months after Balakot strikes; airlines breathe easy