The sacking of the Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) Beijing station chief is the second instance of intelligence asset in China going dud in the last few years that has shamed the country.
Earlier in 2008, director of science & technology division MM Sharma, posted in Beijing, was honeytrapped and subsequently recalled and dismissed from service. The recent removal of Beijing station chief Amreet Ahluwalia, a joint secretary-level officer, on the grounds of alleged impropriety has rung the alarm bell in county’s premier external intelligence agency.
Ahluwalia has been dismissed under sections of Article 311(2), which emphasises that in the interest of national security a person can be dismissed without holding an inquiry by the President. After his dismissal from service, Ahluwalia will not be entitled to receive any post-retirement benefits, including pension.
Though his removal from the service is seen as result of frequent confrontation with his senior at RAW headquarters, the officials are tightlipped about the incidents that led to Ahluwalia’s dismissal.
“If it is operational impropriety by the officer then it could be a serious matter. But chances of being trapped or exposed cannot be ruled out. The agency may have put the diluted version of what happened at Beijing and the true facts may never come out in the public domain,” a source said.
A former RAW officer, who in the past dealt with a similar case, said the Article 311(2) was used in rare cases and the present incident revealed the extent of ‘impropriety’ by the officer.
“It would be difficult to say what transpired there, but unless the charges are strong and ‘impropriety’ noticed over a period of time, such actions are avoided. If he had tried to meet or interact with them, he could have been simply asked to refrain from doing so with a warning, but his dismissal suggests there could be other charges as well,” he said.