Can’t disclose legal assistance offered to RAW agents: Govt

NEW DELHI: The Government has refused to give details about the extent of legal protection provided to operatives of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who are stationed in foreign countries.
The Cabinet Secretariat declined to provide these details in response to an RTI, stating that RAW is exempted from any disclo-sures under the law save for those concerning allegations of human rights violations and corruption.
The issue becomes important in the light of Pakistan’s claims that they have arrested a RAW agent.
The Ministry of External Affairs has refuted the allegations, stating that the arrested person has no links with the Indian Government.
“There is no information in public domain about what must be done if, heaven forbid, an Indian intelligence operative is mur-dered abroad.
“This is a concern that is very much valid even though it must not be taken as a comment on the latest incident of the apprehension of an Indian national in Pakistan,” RTI applicant Venkatesh Nayak told PTI.
Nayak categorically told RAW in his RTI application that he was not seeking details of the manner in which its officers involved in overseas intelligence operations are trained to protect themselves against legal or illegal action by law enforcement agencies in foreign countries.
“The purpose of including this clarification was to reassure them that I was not seeking information that would expose the train-ing and other measures that India’s R&AW officers and other intelligence operatives are instructed to undertake to protect themselves as such disclosure would most likely endanger them and would not be in the public interest at this stage,” Nayak, who is with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, said.