CBI officers named in Verma-Asthana clash shunted out

Two days after new CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla took charge, the government on Wednesday shunted out two Deputy Inspector General (DIG) rank officials from the agency, including one whose name surfaced during controversy between former Director Alok Verma and his then deputy Rakesh Asthana.

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet approved the curtailment of tenure of Abhay Singh, a 2002-batch Madhya Pradesh cadre officer and Anish Prasad, a 2003 batch Tripura cadre officer, whose name figured during the clash in the agency as in favour of Verma.

The Committee also promoted CBI Joint Director Praveen Sinha, a 1988-batch Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, to the post of Additional Director in the agency and DIG Amit Kumar, a 1998-batch Chhattisgarh cadre officer, to the rank of Joint Director.

Anish Prasad was the head of CBI’s special unit, which taps phones and also keeps an eye on the activities of agency officers, when Verma ordered to registration of an FIR against Asthana on October 15, 2018.

The special unit’s conduct came under scrutiny after CBI’s now Additional Director M. Nageswar Rao was given charge of interim Director of the agency when the government’s October 23, 2018 order divested Verma and Asthana of their powers and sent them on forced leave.

Soon after, Rao moved out Prasad from the special unit. Since, Prasad has been handling the charge of the administration division.

Prasad will now have to go back to Tripura with immediate effect as the government order said it is the “premature repatriation” of the the officer who is being sent to his “parent cadre consequent on curtailment of the tenure in CBI”.

Abhay Singh was the in-charge of the CBI’s Narda sting probe involving several Trinamool Congress leaders till June 2018 but there wasn’t any movement in the case due to which he was shifted to Ranchi at that time. Singh has been placed at the disposal of the union Home Ministry, the Department of Personnel order said.

IANS