Rafale jitters: ‘Alok Verma could meet Judge Loya’s fate, SC must intervene’

Concerns are also being raised if the ousted CBI chief would be victimised like Rohith Vemula and Sanjiv Bhat or he too will just disappear like the JNU student, Najeeb Ahmed

Rafale jitters: ‘Alok Verma could meet Judge Loya’s fate, SC must intervene’

Ashutosh Sharma

While Modi government has been blamed for the current mess in the Central Bureau of Intelligence (CBI) and now highhandedness, it is being widely apprehended that Judge Loya’s fate could be awaiting ousted CBI director, Alok Verma.

As country’s premier investigative agency reels under a credibility crisis, BJP-lead NDA government has been accused of snooping it’s director, Alok Verma, who was divested of his powers in a dramatic midnight action on Wednesday. Next day, at least four Intelligence Bureau (IB) men were detained from outside the Verma’s house on Thursday. Dramatic visuals, which were widely shared on social media, showed Verma’s security officers hauling them into his residence before they were handed over to police.

Incidentally, earlier this month, Verma had met Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan and Yashwant Sinha, all critics of the Modi government, when they filed a complaint about corruption in the Rafale deal. His in-person accepting their complaint is said to have angered the Modi & Co.

In an open revolt against the ‘Strong’ Prime Minister, the CBI director on Wednesday, October 24, challenged government’s decision to send him on forcible leave. He told the Supreme Court that “the details of many cases which have led to the present circumstances are extremely sensitive” and demanded that the agency be insulated from government’s interference. “There are bound to be occasions when certain investigations into high functionaries don’t take the direction that may be desirable to the government,” he emphasised in his petition.

As Verma’s plea comes up for hearing in Supreme Court on Friday, October 26, many concerned citizens and social media users have sought the intervention of the top court to ensure his safety and security.

Rajya Sabha MP and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Thursday said on Twitter that “All of us know as to what happened to Judge Loya. To cover-up its corruption cases, Modi government can make any untoward incident happen to Alok Verma.”

Singh, who recently appeared at a civil and sessions court in Ahmedabad city in connection with a defamation case filed against him by Anil Ambani’s firm, Reliance Infrastructure Limited— wrote, “Has Modi given Ajit Doval the contract to cover-up the ‘biggest ever scam of the country’? First, the file from the office of Alok Verma went missing at 2 am. Thereafter, a unit of IB was snooping at the house. The government dictators are a threat to the life of Alok Verma. Honourable Supreme Court should immediately intervene.”

Taking to Twitter, many other users have corroborated his views, fearing for the life of the ousted CBI chief. Some wondered if Verma too shall be victimised like Sanjiv Bhat, former IPS officer, and Rohith Vemula, a young PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide in 2016, or he would also just disappear like JNU student Najeeb Ahmed. Here’s a collection of such tweets:

Like Verma, the CBI's No. 2 officer, Rakesh Asthana, has also been sent on leave; this was necessitated to “maintain the CBI's integrity”, claimed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday. The minister cited the public feud between Asthana and Verma—both men have accused each other of accepting bribes worth crores from men being investigated by the CBI.

Asthana is known for his proximity to BJP chief Amit Shah and removal of Verma is also being seen as government’s attempt to shield Asthana.

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