When a R&AW Officer Saved the life of Former PM Manmohan Singh in Srinagar

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After the UPA govt. came to power in may 2004, PM Manmohan Singh was to visit Srinagar on 17th November 2004. This was the first visit of a congress prime minister after 17 years and had a lot of significance for the Pakistani general Pervez Musharraf and also his intelligence outfit ISI in particular. When the schedule of this visit of Manmohan Singh was known to ISI, R&AW intercepted a message from Pakistan where in it was mentioned that “send a salam to Indian prime minister”. This message was a clear indication that some Pakistani outfit would certainly try to sabotage the visit of Indian prime minister by indulging or planning some terrorist activity.

A middle R&AW officer at Srinagar got information through his source that two militants were hiding in a house located about 200 metres away from the venue where prime minister was to address a public meeting at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium. He gave this report to his senior at Srinagar who instead of taking action on it asked the officer concerned to recheck the veracity of the report.

PM Manmohan Singh in Kashmir

Next day, the R&AW officer crosschecked this information from his source and informed his seniors that the information was credible and militants would attack near the public meeting of the prime minister. These seniors of R&AW did not give credence to the information of their junior and did not inform R&AW headquarters in this regard as a precautionary measure.

However, one of his senior adviced this officer to pass on this information to the army commander of that area. That R&AW operative met the concern military commander and briefed him about the information of a possible militant attack of the venue where the prime minister was to address a public meeting at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium on 17th November 2004. On the basis of this information of that R&AW operative the military commander started his search operation and on the morning of 17th November that is just two hours before the prime minister’s scheduled meeting killed two militants in semi-gutted cafeteria in the Shankaracharya mountains overlooking the cricket stadium. Due to this fierce encounter with militants, the public meeting of prime minister was rescheduled and started few hours after the original timing.

The protectors of Jammu and Kashmir

When this incident was reported to the army headquarters by the commander of Srinagar, the army officers disclosed in a joint meeting with the intelligence officers that this incident was taken control of on the basis of a report of the R&AW operative in Srinagar. R&AW officers present in the meeting denied that there was no such information available at their headquarters.

The R&AW officer was then approached by the SPG to disclose his source of the report which he refused to tell. After this incident the R&AW authorities took strong exception to the reporting of that R&AW officer directly to the army and made his life miserable. He was severely reprimanded and transferred to a remote area as a punishment and made him to lead a life of a recluse. If that operative did not inform in time, there was a big chance of a militant attack on the public meeting of the prime minister and gravity of human loss woud have been in numbers.

It is ridiculous that instead of rewarding the officer for saving the life of a number of innocent citizens and possibly the life of prime minister, he was reprimanded and punished for speaking to the army and giving the information.

The following information is taken from Mission R&AW written by former R&AW officer RK Yadav.