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Ex VP Hamid Ansari endangered lives of RAW unit members, exposed RAW set-up in Tehran, former RAW officer claims

Backed by the Left, Ansari was the second Vice-President of India to serve two consecutive terms after S. Radhakrishnan.

Former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer has made explosive allegations that former Vice President Hamid Ansari who has served as Indian Ambassador to Iran between 1990-92, endangered the lives of RAW officers in Tehran and even ended up exposing the RAW set-up in Tehran.

He even alleged that Hamid Ansari teamed up with Ratan Sehgal, Additional Secretary in the IB to destroy Gulf units of the RAW prior to 1992 Bombay blasts. (Editor’s note: He perhaps meant 1993 blats, but mistakenly tweeted wrong year.)

A report published by The Sunday Guardian, claims that former RAW officers have now written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an inquiry against Ansari for “damaging the RAW operations” when he was posted as an ambassador in Tehran, Iran. As per the report, the officers have claimed that Ansari not only failed to protect India’s national interest, but also cooperated with the Iranian government and its intelligence agency SAVAK which caused a serious dent to RAW and its operations. According to them, there were four major incidents when Indian Embassy officials and diplomats were kidnapped by SAVAK and Ansari deliberately failed in his duties to protect India’s interest.

Sood, former RAW officer told Sunday Guardian about an incident involving an Indian official, Sandeep Kapoor in May 1991. According to Sood, Kapoor was kidnapped from Tehran Airport by SAVAK. Ansari, who was then posted in Tehran, was informed about it but he played it down. Not only did he not take any steps to find Kapoor, but in the confidential report he sent to the MEA, he did not mention the involvement of SAVAK. He only said how Kapoor’s activities were suspected in Iran as he was believed to be involved with a local woman.

Three days after he went missing, Indian Embassy was informed by an anonymous phone call that Kapoor was lying on the road-side. Kapoor was heavily drugged, effects of which lasted years.

Recalling another incident, Sood told The Sunday Guardian that in August 1991, RAW was keeping an eye on Kashmiri youths who were regularly visiting Qom, a religious centre of Iran, and were taking arms training. RAW’s new station chief, D. B. Mathur was advised by fellow RAW officers not to inform about the operations to Ansari. However, Mathur informed Ansari and Ansari allegedly passed on the information to Iranian Foreign Office, which passed it on to SAVAK which eventually picked up Mathur.

When Ansari didn’t take any concrete step to get Mathur back, the RAW officers secretly managed to inform Atal Bihari Vajpayee about Mathur, who in turn informed the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao. Eventually, four days after he was kidnapped, Mathur was released from Evin prison and asked to leave the country within 72 hours. After he was released and within safety of Indian Embassy, Mathur informed how SAVAK was aware of identities of Sood and the station chief which he claimed becasue Ansari passed it on to Iranian Foreign Office.

The letter to the PM also includes an incident where P. K. Venugopal, the RAW station chief, was picked up by SAVAK and beaten up before being let go. Ansari never lodged a complaint with Iranian authorities, the letter claims. The letter claims that Ansari’s long and regular meetings with Pakistan Ambassador in Tehran were also not reported to the MEA.

The RAW officers are hoping for a thorough inquiry into the matter by Prime Minister Modi. “Ansari also brought other Indian Ambassadors in Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia to target R&AW units in their respective missions. At the time of the Bombay blasts, the R&AW’s capabilities vis-a-vis Gulf countries were in total disarray,” the letter reads.

Sood has claimed that when Ansari was transferred from Iran, in mid-1993, there were celebrations in the Indian Embassy.

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari has been surrounded by controversies after his tenure as VP got over. He has backed the idea of setting up of the Shariat courts in every district of the country. After his retirement, he had issued a statement saying he is feeling insecure and uneasy as a citizen of the country. His statements were condemned by all sections of the society. He was also seen in a programme organized militant Islamic organization Popular Front of India (PFI) which has been accused by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) of being involved in the controversial ‘love jihad’ cases in Kerala. He had also praised the students who protested for Jinnah’s portrait in Aligarh Muslim University.

Backed by the Left, Ansari was the second Vice-President of India to serve two consecutive terms after S. Radhakrishnan.

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