Updated: June 24, 2022 10:36:53 pm
Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Tapan Deka has been appointed the new chief of the central intelligence agency. He will replace incumbent Arvind Kumar after his tenure comes to an end on June 30. Current chief of Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) Samant Goel, meanwhile, has been given another extension of one year in his tenure which comes to an end on June 30.
The Centre had on Thursday appointed former Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta as the new chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Special Director in the IB Swagat Das as Special Secretary in the Home Ministry.
Deka, a 1988 batch IPS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, will have a fixed tenure of two years. He has superseded his senior Special Director A Sema Rajan, a 1987 batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, in the appointment.
Deka, who has been handling the operations division of the Intelligence Bureau, has decades of experience in counter-terrorism. He was the operations joint-director when Indian Mujahideen (IM) was at the peak of its sabotage activities in the country. Under him, the Intelligence Bureau tracked each of its operatives over the years and brought them to book. Indian Mujahideen has been practically incapacitated since the 2012 arrest of Yasin Bhatkal from Nepal and the subsequent arrest of Tehsin Akhtar.
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Deka was also handling operations during the 2015-16 Pathankot air base attack and the 2019 Pulwama attack. He follows in the footsteps of former IB chiefs such as Ajit Doval and Nehchal Sandhu who handled operations in their careers before heading the agency.
Recently, Deka has been particularly focused on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir where civilians have been increasingly targetted in the past few months. In fact, since October last year, when killings of migrants and Kashmiri Pandits started in the Valley, Deka has been visiting the Valley every fortnight. He has also accompanied Union Minister for Home Amit Shah on all his visits to Jammu and Kashmir. Getting things back under control in Kashmir and reining in the recruitment of youngsters in terror groups will remain a challenge for Deka as he takes over as the new chief of IB.
Goel’s extension indicates he continues to enjoy the trust of the government despite the botched-up operation to get Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud accused Mehul Choksi back in India. Sources, however, said under Goel the external intelligence agency has been generating quality intelligence on cross-border infiltration from Pakistan which has resulted in good operations by security forces against terrorists in Kashmir.
Goel is an officer of the Punjab cadre and was appointed as R&AW chief last year. He was granted an extension of tenure last year. He has earlier served in London and Dubai. Goel, who has been credited with counter-intelligence work against Khalistani forces during his stint in London, superseded R Kumar, the then seniormost officer in R&AW, in 2019. Kumar, who headed the Pakistan desk, is largely credited in the security establishment for the successful Balakot strikes post the February 14 Pulwama attack that year.
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