Founder director of NIA RV Raju dead



Kochi: Radha Vinod Raju, an IPS officer who unearthed the conspiracy behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and was more recently involved in tracking foot prints of Lashker-e-Taiba terrorists David Headley, died here this morning after a prolonged illness.

62-year-old Raju, who was founder Director General of NIA, breathed his last at a private hospital here at 3.40 AM, family sources said. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Raju was down with recurring pneumonia and had been admitted to hospital a week ago for lung infection, the sources said.

A 1975 batch IPS officer from Jammu and Kashmir cadre, Raju was recently appointed as adviser to the CVC to look after banking cases.

Raju shot to fame in early 1990s when he along with D R Karthikeyan unravelled the conspiracy behind the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

A soft-spoken personality, Raju worked in a bank before joining IPS in 1975. He reached to the top and was appointed as the first Director General National Investigation Agency (NIA) on January 19, 2009, an organisation set up in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes.

Before his retirement, Raju traced Pakistani-American Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley's foot prints in India and was also instrumental in breaking his estranged Moroccan wife Fauzia Outullah, a move that had even stumped American investigators.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed grief over the death of Raju and also conveyed condolences to his son-in-law.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also condoled the death and said Raju was a fine officer who led a principled life during his unblemished meritorious career.

PTI