Balakot Air Strike Strategist Samant Goel Appointed Head Of RAW; Here’s Everything About Him

samant goel

One of the chief strategists of the Balakot air strike, Samant Goel has now been appointed the head of Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) whereas Arvind Kumar, an IPS officer of 1984 batch will now serve as the head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). 

Goel And Arvind Kumar To Head Premier Spy Agencies 

These two are the premier spy agencies of the country. The appointments of the new heads were recently announced by the Union government. Samant Goel and Arvind Kumar will replace Anil Dhasmana and Rajiv Jain respectively. Rajiv Jain and Dhasmana will complete their extended tenure by the end of this month. 


The appointment of both Jain and Dhasmana was made in December 2016 and their tenure was extended for six months as India went into election mode.

The Intelligence Bureau is the main internal intelligence unit of India whereas RAW looks after external intelligence. According to a top official who was a part of this appointment process, the names of Mr.Arvind Kumar and Mr. Samant Goel were approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is the head of ACC which also includes participation from Home Minister Amit Shah. 

Samant Goel- Main Strategist Behind Balakot And Uri Strikes

Samant Goel is an IPS officer from the 1984 batch of the Punjab cadre. Prior to this appointment, Goel was serving as the head of operations for the external intelligence agency. He was also the main strategist behind the planning of Balakot Air Strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF)  on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) camp on 26 February post-Pulwama attack. He was also involved in the planning of surgical strikes carried out in 2016 after the terror attack in Uri. 


A senior RAW officer said that Samant Goel tackled the Punjab militancy when it was at its peak in the  1990s and is also a Pakistan expert. The officer further added that Goel is a man of mild-manners and impeccable integrity.

Arvind Kumar – Special Director Of Kashmir

Arvind Kumar is at present the special director of Kashmir at the intelligence agency and has been closely involved in handling the left-wing extremism at the agency. The special director-rank officer is also the intelligence agency’s Kashmir expert and has been closely involved in formulating and executing the Centre’s approach on terrorism in the valley.

Arvind Kumar started his career in police service from Assam and very early in his career moved to IB after a brief stint as superintendent of police, Sonitpur. It is one of the largest districts of the state. After coming to IB he never went back to Assam and continued his work at the Centre mostly at the IB.