The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is, now, a stage, where its officers are playing a play full of suspense, intrigue, betrayal and to some even comedy. As its CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana continue to accuse each other there seems to be no finale in sight.
The two were never comfortable with each other. Rakesh Asthana is a Gujarat Cadre officer who was once in charge of Godhra riots probe, and has a lot of friends in BJP. Alok Verma had objected to appointment of Asthana as a special director, over corruption charges, way back Sep-Oct last year.
On Tuesday the agency accused Asthana and his junior, DSP Devender Kumar, of running an extortion racket. While the DSP has been remanded to a judicial custody of his colleagues, Asthana was given a breather by High Court by delaying any criminal proceedings against him till at least next Monday.
Asthana, on his part maintains that he has been framed and his petitions blames Verma for using the charges against him to hide his own misconduct.
It has been reported that the Prime Minister himself has intervened to safeguard larger interests of CBI, however the matter still ended up in courts and is bound to cause embarrassment to Modi in an election season.
The PM’s blue-eyed boy, Gujarat cadre officer, of Godra SIT fame, infiltrated as No. 2 into the CBI, has now been caught taking bribes. Under this PM, the CBI is a weapon of political vendetta. An institution in terminal decline that’s at war with itself. https://t.co/Z8kx41kVxX
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 22, 2018
While opposition is smelling a political opportunity, the fact is that the rot runs deeper. The corruption and power play of CBI has always been discussed in hushed tones. With at least one of its own officers in custody, some murky details are bound to come out. As the dirty laundry tumbles out of closet, it would open flood gates of questionable investigations in both past and present cases. The fight between the two stalwarts may have just started a much-needed impetus for the caged parrot to take a flight.