Four men were arrested early morning today outside exiled CBI boss Alok Verma's home in Delhi. The men, who were allegedly outside the building. The men were caught allegedly snooping from parked cars, in continuing drama involving the country's main investigating agency. The spies were caught on camera and also arrested, in what can be perceived as a glimpse into what many would describe to be a sort of disconnect between various agencies.
Two of the men were found sitting in a car outside the gate of Mr Verma's home on 2 Janpath in one of the most high security zones of Delhi, at around 7:45 am. The other two spies were reportedly in a car near the back gate. Visuals on TV showed security officials dragging them by their shirts across the road.
Intelligence Bureau sources denied spying, saying it is "routine" to post its people in the area, which is very close to the 10 Janpath home of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. "Would they carry I-cards if they were in covert intelligence," a top officer questioned.
The strange incident did end up fueling 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.
Here are the highlights on the arrest of 4 men outside CBI chief Alok Verma's home:
Suffering from "Rafale-o-phobia", Prime Minister Narendra Modi is indulging in "snooping, surveillance and spying" of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge and senior leader Abhishek Singhvi said at a press conference, according to PTI.
There was no immediate reaction from the Prime Minister's Office on the allegations, the PTI report said.
"The director shall not be transferred without the approval of the committee, but no such meeting was called," he said.
"We tried to get Lokpal for 4 years, but they (BJP) has done nothing about it. The leader of the opposition has to be informed, but that wasn't done either. Maybe they were having sleepless nights over the Rafale issue," he added.
"Spy & Snoop in India" is the only successful scheme of Modi Ji. On PMO's directions CBI & IB are on infiltrating spree for the benefit of Modi Ji.- Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) October 25, 2018
Did PM take oath to protect the privacy and freedom of its citizens or deliberately violate it through eavesdropping?
Among other things, it's units are routinely deployed on a regular basis in sensitive areas.
At times, this is done in association with local law enforcement agencies or LEAs and at other times, a surprise element is also built in.
This also enables LEAs to respond immediately to developing situations.
Since such officials are on routine duties, they carry their identity cards.
This is unlike surveillance, which is done covertly, without any visible appurtenances.
One such unit, in early hours of today, halted on Janpath, where there was an unusual collection of people.
This was with a view to check the reason why people had collected at the location.
This is a high security zone where several protectees reside.
Unfortunately, their presence was projected otherwise.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi considered the submission of lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO 'Common Cause' that there were wider issues of corruption affecting the probe agency and the PIL needed to be heard urgently, according to PTI.
The bench, which also comprised Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, asked Mr Bhushan to provide details and said it would consider granting urgent hearing on the petition.
The NGO has sought relief including court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into allegations of corruption against CBI officials including Asthana, who along with CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma had been divested of powers and sent on leave, according to PTI.
After this snooping of Alok Verma, it is clear that Modi govt is panicking and nervous. Someone at the top is very very scared of Alok Verma !! Is there any thing more deep than it appears on the surface. Let me repeat the fight is not between Officers, but between two top guns.- ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) October 25, 2018
What is going on? Why IB is snooping around CBI director ALOK VERMA ... is he a threat for nation that he is being hounded like this way !!!- ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) October 25, 2018
Who has ordered this snooping ? Who authorised this snooping ? This amounts to more serious crisis !! The man who ordered this snooping Modi Govt should sack the man and if buck stops at the top that man should go !- ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) October 25, 2018
The CBI's warring top two, Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, were sent on leave and several officers were transferred in a stunning overnight 'coup' by the government that saw an interim chief taking charge of the country's top investigating agency at 1.45 am last night. M Nageswar Rao's first act after his late-night promotion was to sign orders shifting several members of a team investigating corruption charges against Rakesh Asthana. CBI director Alok Verma's petition against the government's move will be taken up by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Alok Verma, the CBI chief who has been exiled into leave, has told the Supreme Court that the autonomy of the country's premier investigating agency is being compromised and by malintent that includes when "certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government".
Four men were arrested outside exiled CBI chief Alok Verma's home in Delhi this morning, allegedly for suspiciously lurking around the building. The men were caught by his security personnel and taken inside.
Two men were arrested outside exiled CBI chief Alok Verma's home in Delhi this morning, allegedly for suspiciously lurking around the building. The men were caught by his security personnel and taken inside.