Former RAW agent, who spied on Pakistan, unveils the dark reality of Indian spy agency
Now Daniel lives a miserable life in an Indian village bordering the Sialkot and Narowal area.
A former Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent now lives a miserable life in India. Daniel, along with his wife, currently resides in a shabby single-room rented home with only memoirs of his past life. A faded picture of his agent career hangs on one of the walls of his house as a reminder.
The Story of Daniel
Daniel started working for his country’s spy agency – RAW – on lucrative promises of money and a government job. Upon employment, he was smuggled into Pakistan in 1992 to spy for India. Daniel describes the incident by saying:
In those days, since only the Indian side was fenced, we faced no problem in smuggling people, as the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) always facilitated us. After infiltrating into Pakistan, we used to stay with our contact Lala Bashir in village Ali Abad near the Jassar railway station, from where we used to move to selected areas.
Speaking about the RAW agent days, he said:
We used to feel very proud while working for RAW. I traveled back and forth across the border ten times in a year. When we returned to India, the BSF allowed us entry when we used code words. At times I was given the code word ‘kalakar,’ and no one questioned as they knew I worked for RAW.
When asked about the tasks assigned to him, the former agent said:
I was asked to gather information about the location of various army units and their movement. I, alongside other fellow agents, also used to lure some Pakistanis to work for RAW. We were also tasked to carry vast amounts of PC – Pakistani Currency – for subversive activities through RAW’s sleeper agents. At times I was assigned to make friendly contacts with Pakistani working or retired military personnel (in jail or otherwise) to coax information.
Describing his experience of interacting with Pakistani people, Daniel said:
They were very warm and friendly. They even shared the gifts brought to them by their family members in jail and treated us well.
Eventually, Daniel was caught in 1993 in Lahore. Recalling the brutal interrogation following his arrest, Daniel said:
When I was arrested, I did not utter a single word about being tasked by RAW to gather information from Pakistan. RAW prepared us for this. We were told to pose as smugglers or act like someone who crossed over to the other side by mistake. I was shifted from various jails and eventually released from Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore after serving a four-year sentence.
Daniel’s life took a turn when after release, he returned to India only to realize that RAW had given up on him. Daniel said:
No one bothered about the welfare of the people who risked their lives for the country. I met local politicians, including Pratap Singh Bajwa, who was earlier a Member of the Legislative Assembly, and asked them for some relief but to no avail.
The former RAW agent also said:
I agreed to work for the spy agency as they promised good money, but at the end of the day, they paid only Rs. 15,000. When I contacted the RAW office, the authorities got my signatures on a blank paper and told me that Rs. 15,000 was the prescribed sanctioned amount. I was neither paid the money I was promised nor compensated in any other way. During my jail term in Pakistan, my mother received a payment of a paltry Rs. 500 per month only.
Now Daniel lives a miserable life in an Indian village bordering the Sialkot and Narowal area. To support his family, the former RAW agent now drives a rickshaw. However, he cannot earn enough, so his wife works as a maid to earn a livelihood.
Disheartened by the unfair treatment, Daniel exclaimed:
I feel abandoned and used! My only hope is to find some money to build a home and live a decent life or get a job for my elder son.
RAW’s disappointing history of abandoning agents after use
According to reports, RAW has a history of casting aside its agents. Hundreds of Indian agents working for the notorious RAW feel sad and abandoned by their parent spy agency. They are disappointed in the agency for not repaying their efforts by forcing them to live the rest of their lives in squalid conditions.
Similar stories can be heard from the Indian military personnel who end up working under deplorable conditions, with poor food, medical or other facilities, after serving their country passionately. Daniel has been brave enough to unveil the reality of RAW to the world. However, only time will tell what outcome his bravery entails.
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