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Updated: December 7, 2011 12:24 IST

IB made to conduct surveys on food shortages, says former chief

Special Correspondent
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Arun Bhagat
Arun Bhagat

The former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief, Arun Bhagat, has told Hindi television station P7 that he was ordered, while in service, to engage in activities unrelated to national security — the first such admission by a high official of India's domestic intelligence service.

In an interview broadcast on Tuesday, Mr. Bhagat said he was told by the then government to “to conduct a survey on the food situation.” “I could not have said I won't do it.” He went on to say that “on my recommendation, the government immediately imported one million tonnes, or more, of wheat.”

Mr. Bhagat was being interviewed for an investigative report published in The Hindu on Monday, which revealed that much of the IB's resources were devoted to domestic political espionage. “There is always some political influence and pressure,” he told P7, “it is always there. I do not agree, though, that resources are diverted away from counter-terrorism for political tasks.”

Appointed IB Director in 1997 by Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Mr. Bhagat faced allegations that agents posted to the Parliament House on security duties were also conducting surveillance of MPs.

Mr. Bhagat reportedly told the Lok Sabha Speaker that while the IB staff, while primarily effecting the duties delegated to them, inevitably acquired some political intelligence, which was passed on to their superior officers.

“There are some small things [chhoti-moti] which go on in government; they will always go on. I'm not saying doing wrong things is acceptable, but there is no harm in these [small] things,” he told P7.

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Food security is important.
But not on the expense of national security.
Is Pawar so freaking busy not to get the job done by his own team.
In 1.2 billion people is there a shortage for skilled work force?
Its time for old man to retire...we got bored and frustrated seeing old ineffective men ruling the Nation.
What is the age limit for Politics?

from:  Senthil
Posted on: Dec 8, 2011 at 07:11 IST

no wonder.....it has been a known secret.....all political parties use IB for their purpose when they are in power......that's why IB & all other investigative agencies should be brought under Lokpal bill.

There are other dedicated departments which are capable of doing things like estimation of wheat left etc. Important resources like IB should not be used for such cheap kinds of work; it's a matter of national security.

from:  animesh
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 14:44 IST

Bravo on the ground breaking article on role of IB in looking into food inflation. Well know fact that the govt used these bureaucrats as their personnel assistants and maid servants. But why come out of the closet nearly 15 years later.

from:  Venkata Raman Aiyer
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 10:08 IST

Janlokpal is an absolute need. CBI & IB should be directly under its vigilance.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 09:13 IST

The Hindu has opened a can of worms. Now some dirty secrets are bound to come out and as usual congress propaganda machine denying it as opposition campaign.

from:  Ravinder Reddy
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 02:49 IST

This man is full of contradictions, mostly within his own statements - purely reading what is above.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 at 00:54 IST
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