The men were caught by CBI chief Alok Verma’s security personnel and taken inside
Four men were caught at exiled CBI chief Alok Verma’s home in Delhi early this morning, allegedly snooping from a parked car, in continuing drama involving the country’s main investigating agency. The men were caught by Mr Verma’s security personnel and hauled inside.
The group was found sitting in a car outside the gates of Mr Verma’s home on 2 Akbar Road in one of the most high security zones of Delhi, around 7:45 am. Visuals on TV showed security officials dragging them by their shirts across the road.
The police — Mr Verma was Delhi Police commissioner before he became CBI boss — were called and the men were questioned, say sources. The men were later arrested and taken away to an unknown place.
Reports say the men belong to the Intelligence Bureau. The incident spurred speculation of surveillance on Mr Verma, who was abruptly sent on forced leave yesterday and replaced by an interim chief days after he launched an investigation against his deputy Rakesh Asthana, accusing him of corruption.
Mr Asthana, who has been charged in a case filed by the CBI, has also been sent on leave but is seen to have fared better in the CBI bloodbath than his boss. Officers on Mr Verma’s team, who were investigating half a dozen charges against Mr Asthana including bribe-taking, were moved out in a mass transfer ordered by M Nageswar Rao, who took over the CBI director’s responsibilities around 2 am on Tuesday night.
The overnight activity took place reportedly under National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s supervision; he set the process in motion by asking for an order divesting Mr Verma of his powers and replacing him with an interim chief. The CBI building was cordoned off around 10.30 pm. That order came out around 1 am and soon Mr Rao drove into the headquarters, escorted by police cars.
The feud between the CBI’s top two officers escalated after the CBI filed a case against Mr Asthana, who has been described as “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blue-eyed boy” by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and who is believed to be close to BJP president Amit Shah.
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