Four detained outside Alok Verma’s house were IB officers on routine duty: Centre
Four men briefly detained from outside the Janpath house of CBI’s Alok Verma were Intelligence Bureau officials on routine patrol duty in a high-security zone and had stopped to check why many people had gathered at the spot, a Union Home Ministry official said on Thursday. “Unfortunately, their presence was projected otherwise,” he said.
“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,” the official said.
Main opposition party the Congress has attacked the government alleging that the men were “snooping” on Alok Verma, who was stripped of powers as CBI chief on Wednesday.
“After making CBI as ‘Central Burial of Investigation’, the (Narendra) Modi government now stoops to a ‘new low’ – Snooping on ‘forcibly removed’ CBI Director through IB,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. “Let everyone be forewarned – IB is heading the CBI way!” Congress Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.
The four men were this morning detained by Alok Verma’s personal security officers (PSOs), who accused them “loitering around for a long time”. They had come in two cars and were allegedly caught from near the front and rear gates of Verma’s house in the national capital.
“They had been spotted loitering around for a long time since the early hours. They were finally detained after their behaviour aroused suspicion,” said an officer.
They were first questioned by the PSOs inside Verma’s residential compound and then handed over to the police patrol team.
The police is learnt to have confirmed their identity.
“We have not detained anybody nor we have received any complaint,” Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma later said.
Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were on Wednesday divested of all responsibilities amid an internal CBI feud. Asthana, who is being investigated on alleged corruption, was removed from all cases by Verma on Tuesday.