History

Listen: A Cold War Spy Story in the Himalayas, From the Sixties

An abandoned spy mission from 50 years ago, complete with action, suspense, drama – and some plutonium lost in the Himalayas

See the plutonium anywhere? The Himalayas. Credit: rohanmoitra/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

See the plutonium anywhere? The Himalayas. Credit: rohanmoitra/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

In 1965, Captain Manmohan Singh Kohli, an officer in the Indian navy, led a group of CIA and IB officials on an arduous trek across 125 kilometres, for a covert mission to spy on China’s nuclear capability. They changed course a month into this arduous trek after encountering a severe avalanche and the story was soon forgotten. The abandoned mission only came back into the news, after a leak in the 1970s, when questions were raised in parliament about the dangers of the lost plutonium. In this episode of The Intersection, Samanth Subramanian revisits the mission and speaks to Vinod Jose on his fascinating story.

This is the latest episode of The Intersection, a fortnightly podcast on Audiomatic. For more such podcasts visit audiomatic.in.