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A fond good bye to Ashok Chaturvedi, an old friend

Last updated on: September 21, 2011 23:23 IST

B Raman pays homage to Ashok Chaturvedi, former chief of Research & Analysis Wing, who passed away on Sunday, September 18.

I grieve over the death of Shri Ashok Chaturvedi, who headed the Research & Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, in his capacity as Secretary ( R ) during 2007-09, on the night of September 18,2011, in a Delhi hospital due to a multi-organ failure. He was 63 -- 12 years younger than me.

Ashok and I had the privilege of belonging to the Indian Police Service Cadre of Madhya Pradesh. He was from Uttar Pradesh and I from Tamil Nadu, but we both loved the state and had pleasant memories of our stay there.

Ashok joined the R&AW some years after I did. He twice served under me -- in the 1980s as an assistant director in the division that dealt with Khalistani terrorism, and again in the 1990s as a deputy director in the same division.

He was posted to a western country which was a hotbed of Khalistani activities and developed a wide network of contacts through whom he collected valuable information on the activities of the Khalistani terrorists in the West.

I had inspected his station and recorded my kudos on his very good operational performance.

In any objective account on the role of the R&AW in the fight against Khalistani terrorism, the contribution of Ashok's many successful operations should find prominent mention.

He became somewhat controversial as the head of the R&AW. Sections of our media repeatedly carried negative reports about him.

I am not in a position to vouch for the correctness of those reports sine I had retired in August 1994, 13 years before he became the chief. However, these negative reports did not affect my regard and affection for him.

Bye,Ashok.I still remember the wonderful time I spent with you and your family on a heavily-snowing evening in a far-away land.

How amazed I was by the large circle of friends you had in that country. You remembered my love for France and, the next day, you drove me to a city where French of a different kind was spoken.

We were always kind to each other. I knew how attached you were to me. And you knew how attached I was to you. Those memories do matter as we leave this world one by one.

B Raman in New Delhi