These R&AW incidents and operations will make you proud and they are our silent guardians protecting us. Here are unknown stories not some of which is not known by the masses and include about Ram Jethmalani, Mohammad Hamid Ansari current Vice President of India when posted in Iran, when R&AW saved life of then Haryana’s CM and more. We know almost little or nothing about our Intelligence Agencies, due to the fact everything is kept under wraps, to maintain “Secrecy”. In the world of spies, “Your failures are known, Your successes are not”.
But there are several things we will tell you today mind you, these all have already been declassified.
1) Ram Jethmalani, the famous advocate was nailed by R&AW in London.
Yes, famous senior advocate who also served as India’s Union Law Minister and Chairman of Bar Council of India. R&AW came to know when one Dalam Chand Baid of Bombay was detained in London in 1981 and was a suspect of the notorious gang of smugglers operating in Hong Kong, Nepal, India, USA, UK and West Asia. R&AW was keeping track of the case and during the trial it was detected by Indian operatives in London that Jethmalani arrived in London and contacted Baid in detention through a local lawyer. Since the UK had no restriction on import or export of currency, UK’s immigration officials handed the money to a local lawyer Handa which he handed over to Jethmalani, later R&AW operatives found that Jethmalani collected the money and left for USA immediately thereafter.
Later on further investigation it was found that Baid was a resident of Mumbai and his passport was from Maldives. He was a conduit of the infamous Choraria smuggling gang. Jethmalani’s role was limited to transfer of this money to USA. Later, Baid’s passport was canceled by the Indian High Commission on instructions from R&AW.
2. When R&AW beat the ISI at its own game during Liberation of Bangladesh.
An Indian agent of R&AW, Hashim Qureshi in Srinagar was working in league with the BSF. In Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, a Pakistan sponsored terrorist organization, launched the Al-Fatah organization for liberation from J&K from India. 36 of these members were arrested by J&K Police with the help of Indian Intelligence Agencies. In order to get more inside information, R&AW decided to infiltrate Qureshi into this organization as he had knowledge of the terrain of POK.
But he changed his integrity when he was sent to POK and was won over by the Pakistani Intelligence, the ISI. He was given training to hijack a plane by a former Pakistani pilot. When he was sent to India back the BSF arrested him and he spilled the beans upon interrogation. What was his plan?
The plan was to hijack plane which would be piloted by Rajiv Gandhi, son of Mrs. Indira Gandhi then Prime Minister of India. When this startling disclosure was reported to the head of the head of BSF and R&AW, India decided to beat Pakistan at it’s own game and yes, we won!
R&AW and BSF persuaded Qureshi to work for them in order to save him from execution by Indian Authorities. Plan was Qureshi would hijack an Indian Airlines aircraft flying from Srinagar to Lahore and where he would demand the release of 36 members of the Al-Fatah who were in jail in India in lieu of the passengers on the plane.
A Fokker Friendship aircraft, Ganga of the Indian Airlines which was retired already from Indian Airlines was inducted for this operation. The plane was hijacked and he was allowed a toy pistol and a fake grenade inside the plane. Pakistani authorities at Lahore allowed the plane to land when there were informed that it had been hijacked by National Liberation Front of POK. All India Radio soon made the broadcast of this hijacking.
The whole world was informed that the Pakistani Government was behind this hijacking. Later he demanded (As Planned) release of 36 Al-Fatah members in the custody of India to which India declined. Qureshi was given political asylum and hailed him as a Freedom Fighter in Pakistan. He spoke to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Later the passengers of the plane came by road to India and the plane was burned by Pakistan.
Why did India execute this operation? Indian government banned all the flights of Pakistan flying over our territory and it exposed that Pakistani state openly and actively supported terrorists. The truth was known to Pakistan that they were agents of the Indian Government.
Pakistan was trying to curb the civil unrest in East Pakistan by using civil flights to send resources. The shortest air route between east and west Pakistan was from Indian Air Space. Any other air route without using India air space was at least 3 times long and triple time/fuel consuming as shown by the above image. Pakistan had to go around India, via Sri Lanka. The hijacking greatly slowed down the arrival of Pakistani Army through Air Route. This was a master stroke of R&AW during the 1971 war for liberation of Bangladesh by India.
3) R&AW saves Haryana Chief Minister in New York.
When Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister of India, the then Chief Minister sought permission from him to travel to USA for his medical treatment. While Bhajan Lal was staying in a hotel, Mirchandani, the R&AW operative in the Indian embassy was assigned the job for his security. One afternoon, he noticed 5 Sikhs assembled in mysterious situation a few yards away from the hotel. He alerted the New York Police which swooped on them.
A total of 6 terrorists were arrested and they found automatic weapons, photographs of the CM, room numbers and hospital details were found where he had been operated for eye surgery including layout plans of the hospital. R&AW saved him.
Hats off to Indian intelligence agency R&AW once again!
4. R&AW played a Key Role for the Indian Navy during 1971 war.
The Indian Navy celebrates December 4th as Navy Day, it is on this day that India had a strategic Naval victory over Pakistan by rendering its financial capital, Karachi’s port useless as it was completely destroyed. Known as Op. Trident, these operations saw the first use of anti-ship missiles in the region, second Worldwide and first sinking of naval vessels in the region since World War II.
The Navy ensured both the West and East Pakistan had a naval blockade.
This would not have been possible without the valuable intel from R&AW. It all started when the Defence Minister prior to 1971 war called R.N Rao where Chief of Naval Staff was sitting with him to South Bock. It was discussed that if hostilities would start with Pakistan, Indian Navy would attack the Karachi harbour so that enemy’s navy be bottled up from harassing our ship movement in the Arabian sea. Naval Chief had intel that Pakistan had put up new defences to guard the entrance of the harbour on the near by cliffs and Navy had no intel after that at all.
R&AW happily accepted for the job and few days later came up with a plan involving specialists from the Photo Laboratory of R&AW, Murty. It was found that a Parsee doctor on a B.I ship periodically sailed from Bombay to Karachi port and was ready to help them. Rao and Murty with cover names as Rod and Moriarty sailed two days later on the Doctor’s ship. Before the ship entered Karachi, doctor arranged to take their equipment and get Rod and Moriarty admitted in the ship’s sick bay as patients.
At the entrance of the Karachi harbour, Karachi CID personnel boarded and ordered the Captain to bring all Indian passengers before them. He noticed two passengers were missing and when informed they were down with Chicken Pox, he beat a hasty retreat and left.
The pilot, thereafter, took the ship between the two cliffs of the entry point which guarded the narrow entrance to the harbour. While our Indian operatives photographed everything, including the fortification and gun mountings with powerful Telephoto Lenses. While going in, Sick Bay was on the port side and while sailing out the harbour, the sick bay was on the other side of the cliff which was again photographed.
The Indian Naval Chief and his aides were as much as amazed and satisfied with the Intelligence. Some months later, when War broke out, Indian Naval Boats beat the hell out of the fortifications of the harbour and bottled the enemy’s navy.
INS Nipat (K86), INS Nirghat (K89) andINS Veer (K82) from the 25th “Killer” Missile Boat Squadron, escorted by two anti-submarine Arnala class corvettes, INS Kiltan (P79) and INS Katchall (P81), and a fleet tanker, INS Poshak wrecked havoc on Pakistani navy.
R&AW and the Indian Navy working together and crushed the enemy with Indian Navy ships reporting not a single loss while the Karachi port was burning, while Minesweeper PNS Muhafiz sunk, Destroyer PNS Khaibar sunk, Transport, MV Venus Challenger, sunk, Destroyer PNS Shah Jahan badly damaged, scrapped as result and Karachi harbour fuel storage tanks destroyed and more than 100+ sailors killed and reports of more than 500+ were badly injured.
Also, you might like to watch how R&AW convinced Israel to help India in Indo-Pak War 1971.
5. When Mohammed Ansari did not take any action to rescue our R&AW operative captured in IRAN.
M.H Ansari, the current Vice President of Republic of India was one of the few Muslim Diplomats posted by the MEA. He was posted as an Ambassador to Tehran in the late 1990’s.
An Indian R&AW operative, Kapoor was kidnapped by the Iranian intelligence officials while he was returning from India to Iran. This young operative was tortured for three days and his whereabouts were never informed to the Indian Embassy. He was drugged, given inhuman treatment before he was thrown out on a lonely road.
Ansari did not pursue this matter with the Iranian Government much to the discomfiture of the staff posted in Tehran. The Kashmiris from India were imparted religious preaching at a religious centre at Qom near Tehran by the religious clergy of the Iranian counterpart.
Our R&AW was closely monitoring and keeping a watch of the activities of these trainees and reporting to the Head Quarters in New Delhi. R&AW had also managed to develop contacts inside the religious centre through another operative, Mathur and used to procure inside information through his contacts which was known to Ansari.
Mathur was later kidnapped by Iranians Intelligence and when he did not make it to work, his colleagues made the efforts to trace him in Tehran. Ansari did not take this matter seriously and the staff inside the Mission were outraged and agitated over the lackadaisical attitude of Ansari in this matter.
Finally after two days, all the wives of the staff members numbering more than 30 of the Mission assembled outside the gate to protest against Ansari for his inaction to get Mathur, our operative released. Ansari refused to meet these ladies and when the situation reached a boiling point, Mathur’s wife along with some other ladies barged into his room and rebuked him for his inaction.
Then R&AW operatives contacted HQ in New Delhi and informed the then PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Within few hours, Mathur was released by the Iraninan Intelligence when PMO intervened and took up the matter with Iran.
Mathur was subjected to third degree torture but refused to divulge any information. They wanted to get information of R&AW agents in Iran. Most of the R&AW operations in Iran received a set back after this incident since the operatives became highly insecure due to inaction of Ansari.
Successful Operation by R&AW, let down by Ansari.
Note, some of the information, regarding Jethmalani, Ansari was revealed by RK Yadav, Former R&AW Officer in his book.