RAW official in Beijing called back

April 30th, 2008 - 2:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) An intelligence official from the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency, posted at the embassy in Beijing is being recalled for his alleged links with a Chinese language teacher. Manmohan Sharma, who was posted in Beijing a year back, will be returning to headquarters shortly and a departmental inquiry has been initiated.

“We will find out if there has been any misdemeanour on his part and get to the bottom of this sensitive matter,” highly placed government sources told IANS.

“In the meantime we have called him back.”

Sharma’s alleged liaison with his Chinese teacher came to light in February and in the last few months had caused embarrassment to embassy officials and also visiting officials from New Delhi.

“The matter was brought to the notice of the ambassador as well but there was one incident recently that precipitated his recall,” admitted a senior government official, refusing to divulge details of the episode.

This is not the first time that a RAW official has been called back because of these reasons.

In October last year Ravi Nair, a 1975 batch RAS officer, who managed to get plum postings despite being on scanner for a long time, was recalled from Sri Lanka for having alleged connections with a foreigner woman.

During his posting in Hong Kong, Nair had met a “foreigner friend” believed to be working for a Chinese spy agency prompting the authorities to ask him to come back.

However, within a brief time Nair was again given a foreign posting in Colombo where the woman also came and allegedly started staying with him, raising suspicion.

The officials of other departments, posted at the Indian high commission, sent reports about Nair to their respective departments paving way for his recall.

This is the latest scandal to hit the agency which is facing the heat after former official Major General (retd) V K Singh published a book last year that was highly critical of RAW’s functioning.

He has been charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that registered a case against him under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for alleged “wrong communication of information”.

Three years back a former RAW joint secretary (a senior official), Rabinder Singh, fled the country to the US, causing a lot of red faces in the intelligence establishment.

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