Radha Vinod Raju, founding Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and key member of the special investigation team which probed Rajiv Gandhi assassination, would have turned 67 today. Born on July 27, 1949 in Kochi, Kerela, Raju joined the Indian Police Service in 1975 as Jammu and Kashmir cadre batch, and from the very start of his career in police, he was handed over the baton to fight terror in India.
In J&K, Raju acquired a formidable reputation, where he served as Senior Superintendent of Police in Jammu, Deputy-Inspector General of Anantnag, Inspector-General of the Jammu zone and Vigilance Commissioner.
The high point came in 1990, after the first terrorist attacks in Jammu, where he succeeded in tracking down the main suspect on the basis of the thinnest evidence, as he was bestowed with an unusual knack for dogged investigation in the most adverse circumstances. It was indeed an exceptional piece of detective work.
On 19 January 2009, he was appointed as the first chief of India’s National Investigation Agency. Though, he died young, Mr. Raju was a boon for the police fraternity across India as he played a vital role in shaping the minds on young police recruits who got a chance to work under his able guidance. The break-thoughs police garnered during his tenure are relevant till date, lest we forget the transnational terrorism-related investigations in the wake of the 26/11 attacks.
Today, on his 67th birthday, Mr. Raju’s colleagues remember him as a soft-spoken and an exemplary officer par excellence.
A former colleague, Dr Ashok Bhan, IPS said: “ My tributes to Raju sahib… a friend and a singer who spoke out his heart in his renderings like a small boy”.
Farooq Ahmad, retired IG, while remembering Mr. Raju said that “Raju was a leader, mentor, teacher and above all a friend. A good human being, a commodity very rare these days . It is very difficult to forget his memories for those whose life he touched in some way.”
Sh Sabharwal, ex-DGP J&K police said “Raju was unforgettable, and irrepressible soul, and he will always remain in our minds and thoughts. J&K police family will always remember his exemplary conduct and deeds”.
Ex-Dgp of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Mr Gopal Sharma said “Raju, an IPS officer of J&K cadre was one of the rarest of the rare human beings. An inspired individual, a compassionate police officer and a relentless investigator. He was prescient in matters under investigation, but had a sense of balance, intellectual integrity and above all compassion. Recalling the times spent with Mr, Raju, the ex-DGP of J&K Police said, “There is so much that I learnt from him. Yet, words to describe him fall short, appear bereft of his presence, his charisma and joi de vivre! He was an institution in himself. Rest in peace friend, brother and conscience keeper.”
“Remembering Raju sir today on his birthday. He was soft spoken, ever smiling, caring, thorough professional and a person who could stand by what is right. He was an epitome of simplicity. He came out of his comfort zone as special director CBI and strived tirelessly to build a strong foundation for the NIA. Still remember the last breakfast at Sarvanna Bhavan, CP before he chose to leave the mortal world.”, said Mukesh Singh, IG NIA
“Mr. Radha Vinod Rajuwas agreat personality and a perfect police officer as well. His contribution to my development has been immense… A man with a great heart, he inspired me and stood by me always. Happy Birthday wherever you are, forever grateful!” shares Mr. Loknath Behra, DGP Kerela, who worked closely with him at NIA.
“A great human being. One of the humblest and affectionate persons I have known. So full of life. He will continue to live in all of us.”, said SJM Gillani, Director, JK Vigilance, who worked with Mr. Raju during his deputation to CBI