Balakot Strike Strategist Samant Goel Appointed New R&AW Chief

Arvind Kumar was appointed the Director of the Intelligence Bureau.

2 min read
New R&AW chief Samant Goel had played an integral part in planning the Balakot airstrikes on JeM camps in February.

Samant Goel, one of the chief strategists of the recent Balakot air strikes, was appointed as the head of India’s foreign intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) on Wednesday, 26 June.

Along with this appointment, Arvind Kumar has been appointed the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), according to the Hindustan Times.

The appointments were made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also acts as the chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.


Goel is an IPS officer from the 1984 batch of the Punjab cadre.

According to reports, Goel was heading the operations for R&AW and was one of the main people behind the planning of the Indian Air Force's Balakot air strikes on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) camp on 26 February.

He also had a part to play in planning the 2016 surgical strikes carried out after the terror attack in Uri.

Goel was involved in handling Punjab militancy at its peak in the 1990s and is a Pakistan expert.


Like Goel, Arvind Kumar is also a 1984 batch IPS officer. While Samant Goel was in the Punjab cadre, Kumar belonged to the Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

Arvind Kumar held a special director rank at the IB and according to HT, has been closely involved in tackling left-wing extremism for the bureau. He is also considered the IB’s Kashmir expert.


Arvind Kumar will be replacing Rajiv Jain as the new chief of the Intelligence Bureau.

Samant Goel, on the other hand will replace Anil Dhasmana as the chief of the premier spy agency.

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