By B Raman
Issue Net Edition | Date : 27 Apr , 2013
In the external intelligence division of the Intelligence Bureau, headed by B.N.Mallick, DIB, and subsequently post-1968 in the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), headed by R.N.Kao, Leh was a coveted posting for young officers.
Both Mallick as the DIB and Kao as the head of the external intelligence division of the IB and then as the head of the R&AW took a lot of interest in the collection of human and technical intelligence from Tibet through young officers posted in Leh.
The IB and the R&AW had set up a chain of Forward Intelligence Posts (FIPs) to collect Tibetan intelligence and these were supervised by an officer of the rank of Assistant Director (Superintendent of Police) based in Leh
The IB and the R&AW had set up a chain of Forward Intelligence Posts (FIPs) to collect Tibetan intelligence and these were supervised by an officer of the rank of Assistant Director (Superintendent of Police) based in Leh. The logistic and medical cover for the FIPs and the IB/R&AW offices in Leh was provided by the Army.
We had very close co-operation between the Army and the intelligence set-up. Except in Leh where the staff used to move around by jeep, in the interior areas for the collection of Tibetan intelligence the staff used to travel on mule-back.
Leh was considered a very difficult posting health-wise. Only officers medically cleared by the Wellington Hospital for travel or posting to Leh were sent there.
N.F Suntook, who was the head of Administration in the R&AW under Kao, was once medically cleared for going there on an inspection tour. He almost died there due to accumulation of water in the lungs and had to be airlifted in the nick of time to the Wellington Hospital.
Leh, and Hong Kong to learn the Chinese language and Beijing—used to be the career path of the Chinese hands in our intelligence community.
Young officers wanting to specialise in Chinese intelligence opted for their initial posting in Leh. They were the blue-eyed boys of Mallick, Kao and A.K.Dave. Leh, and Hong Kong to learn the Chinese language and Beijing—used to be the career path of the Chinese hands in our intelligence community.
Among the officers who distinguished themselves in Leh were K.C.Patnayak, a 1954 IPS officer from Orissa, the late R.Swaminathan, a 1954 IPS officer from Andhra Pradesh, N.Narasimhan, a 1957 IPS officer from Karnataka A.S.Syali, a 1958 IPS officer from Madhya Pradesh, and A.P.Verma, a 1959 IPS officer from Uttar Pradesh.