Acting, espionage, love, jail and death. This is the whole life story of that detective. His passion for acting gave him an opportunity to go to Pakistan and perform the biggest drama. Fell in love there, settled a house, had a son. He also became a Major in the Pakistan Army, but one day something happened that all the ways to return to his homeland were closed forever. Whenever spies are discussed in India, that person’s name definitely comes on the tongue. Today’s generation may not be familiar with that name, but whenever a story on Indian spies is depicted on the screen, the braveheart is discussed with great respect. Not only India, for any country, these are those invisible forces on whose power the country keeps on the movement of the enemy without fighting a war. They are none other than spies. In today’s issue, read the story of Ravindra Kaushik (1952-2001), known as the Black Tiger of India. Whenever there is less trust in a country against another country, then the role of security agencies increases there. Neither Pakistan nor India believes that there is any mission like espionage. But this has been going on for decades and in such a situation if spies are caught then the government will never call them their own. Spies also know this thing, but this is where duty and patriotism come in.
Ravindra Kaushik’s sister Shashi Vashisht tells in an interview that we were four sisters and brothers and Ravindra was younger than her and another brother younger than him. The youngest was a sister. He was the most playful and handsome among the four. His face resembled that of actor Vinod Khanna. When he used to go out on the way, people used to call him by the name of Vinod Khanna. He considered himself an actor. Ravindra studied in a college in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan. Age must have been around 20 years while studying B.Com, when some cameraman had started secretly taking pictures of him. Experts say that most of the people who go on espionage missions against Pakistan are taken from the areas bordering Pakistan.
Lived in Pakistan as a Muslim
The stranger was following Ravindra like a shadow and was noting down everything about him. Ravindra was very fond of acting. He loved to go on stage, to act in the border fighting sequences was his favorite. He was very efficient in mono acting. In the drama related to the country, he used to keep people tied with his acting. In a play, his acting looked very real in a scene where the people of China had caught him and beaten him and there were wounds all over his body. Everything seemed real to the onlookers and his acting made the audience cry after seeing the performance. For the first time in Lucknow, Ravindra’s eyes fell on that very person sitting in the audience. Sister tells that RAW people in Lucknow were impressed with his cleverness. They met, praised and further said that there is a big job for him.
They told him that if he really wants to do something for the country, then he should come and meet them in Delhi. He met the officers of the Research and Analysis Wing in the capital. The feeling of doing something for the country was then engraved in Ravindra’s mind. It was a storm of sorts for him, something exciting as well as something daring. Ravindra felt that his dream was going to come true. There was an amazing role offer for acting. The only difference was that this character was to be played in real life.
Got the mission – to become a RAW agent and live the life of a Muslim in Pakistan. The Government of India was to receive intelligence input from Pakistan. He was getting a handsome amount for this work. But all this he had to keep the mission a secret. At that time the area of Amritsar, Pathankot used to be a big center for intelligence agencies. There was a training schedule of two months for him. A muslim name was given and was also provided essential information about Islam. He was taught to read and speak Urdu. Ravindra also learned to read Arabic. He was told to learn reading the map, was told the identify of the weapons. He was also taught the tricks of espionage. Some spies are even said to have been circumcised before being sent to Pakistan. Its only purpose was that people in Pakistan should trust him that he is a Pakistani and a Muslim.
Joined the Pakistan army –
Initially Ravindra was sent to 7-8 countries of the world. Pakistan was also one of them. It was a trial in a way. Preliminary information was gathered. One year passed and Ravindra visited Pakistan 3-4 times. Indian agencies felt that Ravindra could do even bigger work. A different plan was made. It was to make him a permanent spy and send him to Pakistan. Even her sister could not come to know because he used to laugh himself and used to make everyone laugh. Ravindra suddenly disappeared from the house in the morning. He now had a new identity. Ravindra went to Pakistan by becoming Nabi Ahmed Shakir.
He did his graduation in India. After going to Pakistan, he enrolled in a law college and completed his graduation. His Punjabi language and face helped him immensely to mixed in Pakistan. RAW had also got his Pakistani ration cards prepared. One day he met Amanat and he started liking her. A few days later saw an advertisement for army recruitment in Pakistan’s newspaper. He applied as a law graduate and interestingly, he got selected. Slowly the mission to send necessary political info and other necessary input to RAW started.
Ravindra did not forget even for a minute that he was an India’s spy in Pakistan. He sent many information related to Atomic Power Station, Defense in Pakistan to RAW. Pleased with this, the Prime Minister of India gave him the title of ‘Black Tiger’. At the behest of RAW officers, Ravindra told the family members that he works in Dubai. In 1981, he got permission to visit India for his brother’s wedding. He had brought gifts for everyone. He also brought jackets for some people as well as suits for some people. He informed everyone that he had a very good job in Dubai. No one came to know that he was living in Pakistan. Ravindra’s father too was in the Air Force.
The secret opened in Jinnah Garden and…
The family members started pressuring him to get married now, then Ravindra told that he has got married. He told that the girl’s name is Amanat. Sister Shashi tells that his father felt very bad after learning about it. He had also told that the wife is going to have a child. Everyone was surprised to hear that nothing was told to the family members. The family last saw him in 1981.
When Areeb was born, Ravindra i.e. Nabi Ahmed thought that he would definitely introduce him to his mother. Amanat did not know that her husband was an Indian. In 1983, a Punjab spy named Inayat Masih is sent to Pakistan. He was asked to meet a person working in the Pakistan Army by the name of Nabi Ahmed in Karachi. Met him in Jinnah Garden, when no one was there. Pakistan police suddenly raided the place and they were caught. Infact, Inayat Masih had been captured as soon as he had landed in Pakistan. On being tortured, he had revealed that a person named Ravindra Kaushik was working in the Pakistan Army by posing as Nabi Ahmed. He had come to meet him. By then Nabi Ahmed i.e. Ravindra had become a Major in the Pakistan Army. In 1983 he was put in Sialkot jail. He was sure that the Government of India would get him released as soon as it would get the news of his arrest, but nothing like that ever happened.
The treatment meted out to spies when caught was even worse than what is shown in the movies. He was severely beaten and laid on ice. Electric shock was applied. He was made to stand and was then tied so that he cannot even sleep. He was kept in a 5×5 cell for about three years. He could not see even the daylight. Everyday he was asked about what information had been sent to the Government of India? Kaushik could not betray the country, so he remained silent. The court sentenced him to death. Years later, the family received a letter from Ravindra Kaushik. His father passed away and a mountain of sorrows broke down on the family.
Another letter revealed that he was in jail in Pakistan. But the family did not have any such document which it could show to the Government of India. Later, the court commuted the death sentence to 25 years in jail. He was kept in Mianwali Jail. Two Indian spies Karamat Rahi and Gopal Das were also lodged in the same prison. Later Karamat Rahi told in an interview, ‘We talked to the superintendent that he has been alone for a long time. His mental condition is not good. Put him in our barracks and we will keep gossiping with him, then he can be fine.’ Ravindra had sent one or two letters in Urdu. The family members used to read Urdu from someone, then they used to get information because father had already passed away. A jailer felt pity on him. He started teaching the children of the jailer.
The last voice heard from the radio
The programs of Suratgarh radio station were also heard in the jails of Pakistan. He wrote to the family members that everyone here listens to the program ‘Mitti Ki Khushboo’. Ravindra had also appealed to the radio station to give some news of the family members. Ayu, the younger daughter of Ravindra Kaushik’s sister, was called to the radio station on some pretext. There, asking for information in another way, the news of the family members was conveyed to Ravindra through radio. Ravindra Kaushik heard that program in Pakistan’s jail. He then learnt that his father had passed away and his brother had also shifted from there to Jaipur.
Ravindra Kaushik had realized that now he might never be able to get out of jail. He asked Rahi to keep his son’s picture safely. Ravindra sent the last letter to the family members and told that he is suffering from respiratory disease, so to send him the medicine. He was having trouble while breathing. He had said that he wanted to see the family once. Ravindra was caught by TB in the jail. Due to TB and heart attack in November 2001, this spy of India became silent forever. Even the dead body could not come to his country. He was buried in Multan Jail.
There is still pain in the hearts of the family members that the information sent by Ravindra would have saved the lives of more than 20 thousand soldiers in the country, but the Government of India did nothing to save them. Well, the Black Tiger is still alive in the hearts of Indians.
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