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Posted at: Nov 18, 2015, 1:18 AM; last updated: Nov 18, 2015, 1:17 AM (IST)

RAW ex-chief Nair passes away at 92

Had quit after 3 months of taking charge

  • K Sankaran Nair, RAW ex-chief, quit after only three months in office in protest against the then PM Morarji Desai’s move to downgrade the RAW chief's office to the level of a director from that of a secretary to the government
  • However, after Indira Gandhi returned to power at the Centre, Nair was rehabilitated and put in charge of the Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982
  • He was later posted as the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore

Shubhadeep Choudhury

Tribune News Service

Bengaluru, November 17

K Sankaran Nair, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), passed away in Bengaluru today. He was 92.

Known as a highly “operational officer”, Nair had played a key role in many major “operations” successfully carried out by the RAW. PV Kumar, former chief of the country’s premier technical intelligence agency National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), mentioned about the “Bangladesh liberation war”, politely declining to speak any further about Nair’s role.

“Nair’s finest hour was during the 1971 war. He was the number two person in RAW after RN Kao. He was known as Colonel Menon to the freedom fighters of Bangladesh who had formed the Mukti Bahini to fight the troops sent from West Pakistan,” said Bidanda Chengappa, who teaches Strategic Affairs and International Relations at the Christ University.

“Nair was a Malayali and did not know a word of Bangla. I don’t think he had ever visited Bangladesh before it came into existence,” said AK Varma, former RAW chief, who described Nair’s engagement with the Mukti Bahini as “liaison work”.

Nair, who succeeded the legendary RN Kao as the RAW chief, quit after only three months in office in protest against the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s decision to downgrade the RAW chief’s office to the level of a director from that of a secretary to the government.

However, after Indira Gandhi returned to power at the Centre, Sankaran Nair was rehabilitated and put in charge of the Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982. He was later posted as the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore.

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