The men, one of whom was reportedly caught peeking into the house of ousted CBI chief Alok Verma, claim to be Intelligence Bureau officers.
New Delhi: Four men have been detained by police after they were reportedly spotted loitering suspiciously near the 2 Janpath residence of ousted CBI chief Alok Verma between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The men are suspected to be members of the Intelligence Bureau.
There were reports of a ruckus near the property around 7.40 am Thursday after Verma’s private security officers (PSOs) saw one of the four trying to peek inside the house. The PSOs immediately nabbed them and made a PCR call.
Police arrived within minutes and took the men to the Tughlaq Road police station, where they were being questioned at the time of filing this report.
“…The men have been taken to Tughlaq Road and are being questioned,” a senior police officer said. “The matter is under investigation.”
The staff at Verma’s residence reportedly told police that they had been observing the men since late Wednesday night — two of them were stationed at the front gate, and the other two at the back gate.
When questioned by the PCR staff that first arrived at the scene, the men are believed to have said they were from the Intelligence Bureau.
According to the initial inquiry report prepared by the PCR team, the men identified themselves as “Dheeraj Kumar Singh, junior intelligence officer”; “Ajay Kumar, JR [sic] Intelligence Bureau”; “Prashant Kr, assistant continent officer, Intelligence Bureau”; and “Vineet Kumar Gupta, assistant continent officer, Intelligence Bureau”.
Police found a tablet and smartphones on the men.
Delhi Police, however, said they were yet to verify their claims. No case had been registered in the matter till this report was published.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma denied the involvement of local police in the investigation.
“The matter may be looked into by the special security officers or the CBI,” he said. “The local police are not involved.”
The incident came on the day Verma was divested of his responsibilities as CBI director amid an intensifying face-off with the agency’s No. 2 Rakesh Asthana, who has also been asked to proceed on leave.
Soon after Verma was sent on leave, searches were conducted at his office inside the CBI headquarters, reportedly by a team that also included officials from the Intelligence Bureau.
Following the government’s order to send the CBI chief on leave — in doing so, the Centre overstepped its brief — the opposition alleged that the independence of the investigative agency was being curbed.
The Congress alleged that Verma was sent on leave as he was looking into alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal.
“CBI chief Alok Verma was getting papers collected on the Rafale scam,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter. “The Prime Minister’s message is clear that whoever comes near Rafale will be removed. The country and the Constitution are in danger.”
The Trinamool Congress said the CBI had become the “BJP bureau of investigation”.
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