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Meet India's Top Spooks!

June 18, 2024 08:44 IST
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Home Minister Amit A Shah chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Sunday, June 16, 2024, to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir after a series of terror attacks.

Shah directed security agencies to implement area domination and zero-terror plans in the Jammu division as they did in Kashmir to achieve success.

The minister directed the security agencies to work on a mission mode and ensure quick response in a coordinated manner.

He also stressed seamless coordination among security agencies, identifying vulnerable areas and addressing security concerns in these areas.

Senior army and police officials were present at the meeting, but what caught our eye was the presence of Ravi Sinha, who heads the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, and Tapan Deka, who head the Intelligence Bureau, India's internal intelligence agency, at the meeting.

There was a time when the men (always men; we haven't had a Stella Rimington, who heads Britain's MI5 for four years yet) who headed RA&W and IB were never photographed or noticed in public, like their counterparts at MI5/MI6 and Mossad. But no longer.


IMAGE: On extreme left is IB Director Tapan Deka. Second from right is Ravi Singh, RA&W's boss.
Also in the photograph are Home Minister Shah flanked by National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Doval (who enjoys Cabinet rank and whose tenure was extended last week) and J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoja Sinha.
Sitting next to Deka is Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla who completes five years in the job in August. All photographs: Shrikant Singh/ANI Photo


IMAGE: Doval, who used to be an Indian Police Service officer in the Kerala cadre, served in the Intelligence Bureau for most of his career. He is the only IPS officer to be awarded the Kirti Chakra, the second highest honour for valour in peace time, for his missions in Pakistan.


IMAGE: Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla greets Doval as IB Director Tapan Deka, left, and RA&W boss Ravi Sinha, right, look on.

Photographs curated by Anant Salvi/
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/

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