Monday, September 19, 2011



I grieve over the death of Shri Ashok Chaturvedi, who headed the Research & Analysis Wing ( R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, in his capacity as Secretary ( R ) during 2007-09, on the night of September 18,2011, in a Delhi hospital due to a multi-organ failure. He was 63----12 years younger than me.

2.Ashok and I had the privilege of belonging to the Indian Police Service Cadre (IPS) of Madhya Pradesh. He was from Uttar Pradesh and I from Tamil Nadu, but we both loved the State and had pleasant memories of our stay in the State.

3.Ashok joined the R&AW some years after I did. He twice served under me----- in the 1980s as an Assistant Director in the Division that dealt with Khalistani terrorism and again in the 1990s as a Deputy Director in the same Division. He was posted to a Western country which was a hotbed of Khalistani activities and developed a wide network of contacts through whom he collected valuable information on the activities of the Khalistani terrorists in the West. I had inspected his Station and recorded my kudos on his very good operational performance.

4.In any objective account on the role of the R&AW in the fight against Khalistani terrorism, the contribution of Ashok’s many successful operations should find prominent mention.

5.He became somewhat controversial as the head of the R&AW. Sections of our media repeatedly carried negative reports about him. I am not in a position to vouch for the correctness of those reports sine I had retired in August 1994----13 years before he became the chief. However, these negative reports did not affect my regard and affection for him.

6.Bye,Ashok.I still remember the wonderful time I spent with you and your family on a heavily-snowing evening in a far-away land. How amazed I was by the large circle of friends you had in that country. You remembered my love for France and, the next day, you drove me to a city where French of a different kind was spoken.

7. We were always kind to each other. I knew how attached you were to me. And you knew how attached I was to you. Those memories do matter as we leave this world one by one.