Who was Rabinder Singh? Former Army and RAW officer who sold Indian secrets to USA, inspired Vishal Bhardwaj’s Khufiya

Ali Fazal’s character in Khufiya is based on the former RAW officer Rabinder Singh, who was a mole in RAW and defected to the United States in 2004.

The recent Netflix release Khufiya, an espionage thriller directed by Vishal Bhardwaj and starring Tabu, Wamiqa Gabbi, and Ali Fazal, has been receiving tremendous reviews from critics and audiences. Khufiya explores the themes of love, loyalty, betrayal, and revenge in the world of spies.

Fazal plays Ravi Mohan, an intelliene officer working in RAW (Research & Analysis Wing) who is suspected of being a mole woking on the payroll of an enemy state. To know the truth, Tabu’s Krishna Mehra, one of the finest agents in RAW, launches a surveillance operation on him and his family including wife Charu, played by Wamiqa Gabbi. Is Ravi Mohan actually selling Indian espionage secrets or is he innocent and being framed by someone else? To find these answers, you can watch the film on Netflix.

The latest Vishal Bhardwaj directorial is based on Amar Bhushan’s 2012 novel Escape To Nowhere. Khufiya follows the same story written in the book until the mid-point and then, Vishal has written a completely new second half for his film. Escape To Nowhere is “loosely inspired by a true incident that took place in 2004 when a senior intelligence officer suspected of being a spy for decades vanished”, as per its summary.

This senior intelligence officer, in real life, was Rabinder Singh. Singh served in the Indian army untill he became Major and then, joind India’s foreign intelligence agency. As a joint secretary in RAW, he was found photocopying sensitive documents, as Fazal’s character Ravi Mohan is shown in Khufiya, and passing on the same to CIA, America’s foreign intelligence agency. In 2004, Singh defected to the United States via Nepal.

It was reported that he had applied for an asylum there, under the name of Surenderjeet Singh but his multiple appeals were rejected. Singh started living in the States as a refugee when CIA stopped paying him money and finally in 2016, news came in tht he had died in a road accident in Maryland in 2016.

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