SOME Sikhs in Canada are wary about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appointment of former IB (India’s Intelligence Bureau) chief Ajit Doval as the new National Security Advisor because of his past role involving Sikh militants in India and Pakistan.
He took part in Operation Black Thunder in 1988 to flush out Sikh militants who had occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
According to Wikipedia: “The operation was commanded by Kanwar Pal Singh Gill who was the DGP [Director General of Police] of Punjab Police. Snipers were used in this operation. Compared to Operation Blue Star, little damage was inflicted on the Golden Temple. In what was reported as a successful operation, around 200 militants surrendered, 41 were killed. Gill stated that he did not want to repeat the mistakes made by the Indian army during Operation Blue Star. This operation was described as a severe setback to the Khalistan movement. In contrast to prior operations, minimum force was used under full public scrutiny. It is remembered for the free access the news media was provided unlike during Operation Blue Star.”
He worked in the Indian High Commission in Pakistan from 1983 to 1987 and Sikh sources in Canada claim that he infiltrated Sikh groups in that country.
He also played a major role after Pakistan-based terrorists hijacked the Indian Airlines Flight No. IC-814 which had taken off from Kathmandu on December 24, 1999, and was on its way to Delhi. He was part of the team that negotiated the release of the passengers.
Doval reportedly successfully planned the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu after he was kidnapped by Khalistan Liberation Front militants in 1991.
According to Wikipedia: “KLF was among the Sikh groups that claimed responsibility for the 1991 kidnapping of the Romanian chargé d’affaires in New Delhi, Liviu Radu. This appeared to be retaliation for Romanian arrests of KLF members suspected of the attempted assassination of Julio Ribeiro, 62, the Indian ambassador to Romania, in Bucharest. Radu was released unharmed after Sikh politicians criticized the action.”
IANS reported: “Doval, 69, an IPS officer of the 1968 batch of Kerala cadre, was Intelligence Bureau chief 2004-05. For the past nine years he has been heading the Vivekananda International Foundation, a think tank known to be close to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mishra too is executive council member of the same think tank.
“Considered close to senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, Doval’s name had been doing the rounds for the post of the NSA ever since the BJP swept to power in the election.
“He takes over from Shivshankar Menon, who is from the Indian Foreign Service.
“Doval had met Modi at Gujarat Bhavan before the May 26 swearing in, fuelling further speculation.
“He has the distinction of being the first police officer to receive the Kirti Chakra, a military honour.
“ … He had conducted anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram and succeeded in bringing out insurgent leader Laldenga to the negotiating table.”