Senior IPS officers Arvind Kumar and Samant Kumar Goel were appointed chiefs of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), respectively on Wednesday.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved their appointments for a fixed two-year tenure, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
Kumar will take the reins of the internal intelligence agency from Rajiv Jain on completion of his tenure on June 30. Goel will take charge from Anil K Dhasmana on completion of his tenure on Saturday.
Both Jain and Dhasmana, who were appointed for a two-year fixed tenure in 2016, were given six months extension in December last year.
Kumar, 59, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, is at present the special director in the IB. He has been working with the Intelligence Bureau since August 1991 and has also served in the Indian Embassy in Moscow, Russia.
Kumar, who is considered an expert on the Kashmir and Naxal issues, is the second most senior officer in the IB after Jain.
He is a recipient of the President Police Medal for Distinguished Service. Goel will succeed Dhasmana at the India’s external spy agency, RAW. Goel, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre, is at present the Special Secretary in the RAW.
He is said to be instrumental in planning the Balakot air strike after the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir and surgical strikes in Uri.
On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control as a response to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month.
Goel possesses rich experience in intelligence and operations. He has also looked after the Punjab chief minister’s security during 2000 and 2001, besides holding other important posts both at his state cadre and at the Centre.
He is considered an expert on issues relating to the Punjab militancy and Pakistan, and has played an important role in checking militancy in Punjab during 1990s. He has served most part of his service in Punjab.
Goel, a recipient of the Police Medal for Gallantry and Police Medal for Meritorious Service, joined the RAW in March 2001.
His name had come in a CBI investigation while probing allegations and counter-allegations of corruption against each other by two of its former senior officers — the then CBI director Alok Kumar Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana.
The CBI had booked Asthana on allegations of receiving a bribe from an accused, Manoj Prasad, probed by him in a case linked to meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, former DIG of the CBI, M K Sinha, had said during interrogation of Prasad, who was arrested in the bribery case allegedly involving Asthana, the names of National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Goel had cropped up.
“As per Manoj Prasad, Dineshwar Prasad, his father, retired as joint secretary, and has close acquaintance with Doval. This was one of the first things Prasad claimed on being brought to CBI HQ and expressed complete surprise and anger as to how CBI could pick him up despite his close links with Doval,” Sinha had said, adding that Prasad claimed.