Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari sparked a new controversy on his last day of office by taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In one of his interviews to the Rajya Sabha TV, Ansari said there is a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country and got a sarcastic rebuttal from PM Modi in an epic farewell speech for former VP. But former RAW officer and author of a Stellar work on RAW “Mission R&WA” R K Yadav had more shocking revelations about former ambassador to Iran Hamid Ansari (1990).
Mr. R K Yadav who is quite active on twitter in a series of tweets revealed a lot of details about Mr Ansari’s stay in Teheran as Ambassador to Iran in 1990.
In his book Mission R&AW, he dedicated two pages to the “worst experience” that the RAW operatives posted in Tehran had to undergo during Ansari’s posting there. In the chapter “Bizarre R&AW Incidents”, he wrote about how the wives of the mission staff were furious with Ansari for his inaction to get an RAW operative released after the operative was kidnapped by the Iranian intelligence agency. The book was published when Ansari was VP. Before being elected as the VP, Ansari was an Indian Foreign Service officer, whose postings were confined to United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.
“A few months after Ansari’s posting in Tehran, a young personal assistant, Kapoor, was kidnapped from Tehran airport by Iran’s intelligence men, while he was returning from India. He was tortured and drugged for three days before thrown on a lonely city road. Ansari did not pursue this matter with Iran government, much to the discomfiture of the staff. “One R&AW officer D.B. Mathur used to procure inside information about Kashmiris from India being indoctrinated at a center in Qom, near Tehran. Confidential reports were regularly sent to New Delhi, with Ansari’s knowledge; Ansari was against some of these reports. One morning, Mathur was kidnapped by the Iranian intelligence men. “Ansari sent a casual report on Mathur’s disappearance to New Delhi but did not take up the matter seriously with the Iranian government.
The staff were agitated. After two days, the wives of over 30 staff members protested outside the embassy. Ansari refused to meet them. Mathur’s wife and other ladies barged into Ansari’s office and rebuked him for his inaction.
“A R&AW officer N.K. Sood from Tehran called Mr R K Yadav in New Delhi to inform about this. The next day, Yadav met Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the leader of opposition, who immediately spoke to Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who promised prompt action. Within a few hours, Mathur was released. Mathur was subjected to third degree torture by the Iranians to get inside information about R&AW agents which he refused to divulge. Mathur was called back to India within 72 hours
“Most of R&AW operatives felt insecure due to Ansari’s attitude. Later, a senior R&AW officer arrived from New Delhi to investigate. He indicted Ansari in his assessment report to the then R&AW Secretary.
“Later, an embassy’s security officer Mohammad Umar was approached by the Iranian intelligence men to work for them. Umar refused and informed his senior, who in turn briefed Ansari. A few weeks later, Umar was kidnapped by the Iranians, badly beaten up and thrown on a secluded spot outside Tehran. Ansari again did not protest to the Iranian authorities and rather asked him to remain silent. “Ansari, with the help of R&AW station chief Venugopal, wanted to deport Umar to India on flimsy grounds. The other R&AW operatives protested. Venugopal then relented and refused to cooperate with Ansari. It would be pertinent to mention that Ansari had developed very good personal relations within the Iranian government but did not want to rake up these kidnapping issues to bring any sort of bitterness”.
Real world espionage rarely resembles the on-screen exploits of Hollywood secret agents. Still, spying is a useful and often dangerous way for governments to gather secret information from their enemies. The success and failure of spying missions have shaped foreign policy, altered the course of wars and left a deep (though usually hidden) impression on world history.
World leaders have to make important decisions every day, and information is the key to making the right decision. How many troops does your enemy have? How far are they in developing their secret weapons? Are they planning to negotiate a trade deal with another country? Are some of their generals planning a military coup?
This war is fought everyday and on numerous fronts and if they lose it sometimes it is repaid with the life of the spy. We often hear that every terrorist attack has 99 foiled attacks behind them. But the question is how 99 are foiled?
The answer is R&WA (Research & Analysis Wing), IB, Army Intelligence and they get information, insight and process them to enable leadership make right decision at right time. The Embassies and consulates often act as enablers for these intelligence exercises.
And if the ambassadors like former vice president become incorporative & Indifferent in intelligence hotspots like “Teheran” then it gets difficult…. Very Difficult…