Modi places merit on premium, appoints Deka as DIB, extends Goel as RAW chief

Published on Jun 24, 2022 03:58 PM IST

By appointing Tapan Deka as Director Intelligence Bureau and extending Secretary RAW Samant Goel term by one more year, the Modi government has indicated that it wants to build operations capability of intelligence agencies rather than analyses

Intelligence Bureau chief Tapan Deka and RAW secretary Samant Goel
Intelligence Bureau chief Tapan Deka and RAW secretary Samant Goel

Placing merit over seniority and operational ability over analyses, the Narendra Modi government today appointed Tapan Deka as the new Director of Intelligence Bureau and rewarded Samant Goel by extending his tenure as Secretary, Research and Analyses Wing for one more year.

Tapan Deka currently heads the Operations desk of the Intelligence Bureau and has been tracking terrorists and religious radicalization for the past two decades. Deka, a 1988 batch Himachal Pradesh cadre officer, is essentially a expert on north-east affairs and was sent by Home Minister Amit Shah to Assam after the anti-CAA violence broke out in 2019. By appointing Tapan Deka as the DIB, the government has picked up an officer over some four seniors in the Intelligence Bureau with the objective of adding more teeth to the intelligence agency.

A quiet thorough professional, Deka was the man who broke the back of Indian Mujahideen group as also the man who investigated the 26/11 attacks. He has been tracking Islamic radicalization for the past two decades, while maintaining his links and root in Assam. Coming from a humble background, Deka has a clear-cut understanding of terrorism in the country from Pakistan based jihadists in Kashmir to PFI in Kerala.

The Narendra Modi government also rewarded Secretary (R&AW) Samant Goel by giving him unprecedented second extension after a two year fixed tenure for building up operational capability and accountability of India’s external agency. An Af-Pak expert, Goel, a Punjab cadre officer, believes in calling spade a spade and brings total commitment to his job. He works closely with both Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Given that both Goel and Deka are hardcore operations men, the Modi government has also set the stage for the two agencies to come on the same page and operate with synergy as the Indian neighborhood is a never ending challenge with subversives within.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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