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The Zero-Cost Mission/ Wily Agent: R&AW’s dare-devil operation Bangladesh operation that saved India

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, July 12: Amar Bhushan, the former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing has come up with his second offering. His first book, 'Escape to no where,' dealt with a fictionalised account of the Rabinder Singh spy case and how the CIA had facilitated his escape to Florida.

    The Zero-Cost Mission/ Wily Agent: R&AW’s dare-devil operation Bangladesh operation that saved India

    His latest book, "The Zero Cost Mission/The Wily Agent published by Harper Collins is inspired by a true story. One is about a covert operation launched in 1992-93 to immobilise targets of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh.

    The second is about a liaison between the head of the agency's Dhaka unit and a foreign office source. It deals with how valuable information was passed on to Indian handlers. The story set in 1993 details how the officer was almost killed on being discovered.

    The Zero-Cost Mission:

    India's relations with Bangladesh are undermined by the activities of the Jamaat-e-Islami, whose camps and facilities are being used to help Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, which sends its agents to carry out acts of terror in India.

    Vijay Shukla, in charge of Bangladesh operations at India's external intelligence agency, has a plan - a daring one, and one that requires utmost secrecy, lest word gets out that India is interfering in Bangladesh's internal affairs.

    Only a certain type of operative can be entrusted with its execution. One with remarkable operational abilities, a taste for challenges and a certain disregard for authority. Vijay Shukla assigns Sujal Rath to orchestrate the destruction of several Jamaat facilities deep within Bangladesh, pulling off a mission that not only seems impossible but which runs the risk of being derailed by the agency itself.

    The Wily Agent: 

    The Wily Agent details the pitfalls of gathering intelligence in a foreign country, a delicate and complex business. A good source, however, can make the risks worthwhile. So, when Jeevnathan, head of the Dhaka unit of India's external intelligence agency, is introduced to 'Rehman', he decides to test him to determine if he has the potential to become a valuable long-term asset.

    As an employee of the Bangladesh Foreign Office, Rehman is well placed to gather sensitive information that would be of great interest to India. Rehman proves to be a hard nut to crack, taking his handlers on a rollercoaster ride through the murky world of intelligence gathering, keeping them on edge, testing their operational skill and nerves as they all play the high-stakes game of espionage.

    Soon to be a major motion picture by Vishal Bhardwaj, this double-bill of pacey thrillers highlighting the exploits of India's intelligence agency will have your pulse racing.

    Bhushan sets the pace:

    Like his earlier offering, this book too is pacey and you would not want to keep the book down until you have finished reading it. The book priced at Rs 250 runs into 204 pages and would leave you asking for more.

    The covert operation against the Jamaat was carried out primarily because they were indulging in large scale infiltrations. The militancy was not at its height at that time, but the illegal immigrations was the major concern. The Jamaat at the behest was carrying this out in large numbers and that had become a huge problem for India.

    The book further speaks about the hierarchical manner in which the R&AW runs. Bhushan, in the preface writes critically about the work culture in the R&AW. He describes the working environment as claustrophobic.

    In a nut-shell, the book is a perfect tribute to the unsung heroes in the R&AW who risk everything in the interest of national security. Bhushan tells OneIndia that officers risk everything without money being a consideration and for them it is the nation and passion for it that matters.

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