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    India Modi appoints Balakot strategist Samant Goel as new R&AW chief

    Modi appoints Balakot strategist Samant Goel as new R&AW chief

    Samant Goel's name was mentioned in an FIR filed by CBI against Rakesh Asthana last year.

    New Delhi: Samant Goel, IPS officer of the 1984 batch, was on June 26 appointed the head of India’s foreign intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).

    The appointment was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also acts as the chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

    Before being appointed R&AW chief, Goel was heading operations for the external intelligence agency. According to reports, he played a major role in planning Balakot air strikes and 2016 surgical strikes.

    Goel’s name also came up during the July 2018 CBI vs CBI infighting between former director Alok Kumar and special director Rakesh Asthana.

    It was alleged that Goel had tried to dilute the Moin Qureshi money-laundering case with the help of a middleman Manoj Prasad and brothers Manoj and Somesh Prasad, who were taken into custody later in the Asthana bribery probe.

    CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Bassi had informed Supreme Court in October last year that the agency had intercepted a conversation between RAW’s Goel and banker Somesh Prasad, warning the Dubai-based fugitive not to return to India ‘at any cost’. The CBI named Goel in a FIR filed against Asthana in September 2018, but did not accuse him of committing a crime.

    “Goel allegedly tried to dilute the Moin Qureshi case with the help of Manoj Prasad who is alleged to be the go-between in the bribe deal,” a CBI official had earlier said.

    “The CBI has telephone intercepts and WhatsApp messages suggesting a link between Goel and Manoj and Somesh,” another official had said.

    Another IPS officer of the 1984 batch, Arvind Kumar has been appointed Director of Intelligence Bureau.

    Also read: Chopper scam: SC stays Delhi HC order allowing Rajeev Saxena to go abroad for treatment

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