Verma snooped on? 4 men detained from outside his house

Verma snooped on? 4 men detained from outside his house

Security personnel detain two of the four people who were seen outside the residence of CBI director Alok Verma for questioning, on Thursday morning, in New Delhi, Thursday, Oct 25, 2018. (Video Grab/PTI Photo)

Raising suspicion about snooping of CBI Director Alok Verma, who was sent on leave following factional feud in the agency, four Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials were picked by his personnel security officers (PSOs) from outside his official residence on Thursday morning.

The four men were near 2-Janpath, which is the Director's official residence 'CBI House', and were intercepted by Verma's PSOs as they were seen moving in a suspicious manner around 7:45 AM, sources said. They were handed over to Delhi Police further questioning.

While admitting that those picked up were its officials, the IB sources said there was no attempt to snoop Verma and they were on “routine duties” and carrying identity cards. They were not on any covert operation, they added.

Identified as Dhiraj Kumar Singh, Ajay Kumar, Prashant Kumar and Vinit Kumar Gupta, sources claimed that identity cards, CGHS cards, Aadhaar cards and mobile phones were recovered from them. Investigators said they were verifying the veracity of the documents seized from the suspects.

The four men, who had reached there in car, were seen “suspiciously loitering” in the area and sought to flee, sources said. They were first questioned by the PSOs before handing them over to Delhi Police. The PSOs are also from Delhi Police.

The Intelligence Bureau routinely deploy its personnel in high-security zones in Delhi on a regular basis to pick information.

The officers stopped on Janpath Road near Verma's residence where there was an "unusual" gathering of people, especially electronic media which were stationed there. They halted there to check the reason why they have gathered there.

These officials were "routinely" deployed on a "regular" basis in sensitive locations and were carrying their identity cards. "This is unlike surveillance, which is conducted covertly.... Unfortunately, their (four men) presence was projected otherwise," they said.

The detention of four men outside Verma's residence a day after he and his second-in-command Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave for factional feud immediately triggered a political war of words with Opposition parties raising the pitch.

The incident is also likely to be raised in Supreme Court on Friday when it hears the petition filed by Verma against the government sending him on leave and divesting of all powers as CBI Director.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "CBI director is illegally removed at 2 AM. Today, 4 IB operatives caught snooping outside his house. This is straight out of a page turning thriller where crime meets political intrigue."

AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh tweeted, "everyone knows what happened to judge (BH) Loya. To hide its scam, Modi government can execute any nefarious plans to harm Alok Verma."

"The master of snooping is at the helm of country's affairs and earlier in Gujarat...the previous experience of those who mastered snooping is now coming handy. This shows (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's desperation to escape Rafale scam," he added.

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