NEW DELHI: At an unusual hour at 12.45 am on Wednesday, the CBI headquarters was abuzz with activity and the police had cordoned off the building.
Exactly an hour later, M Nageshwar Rao arrived at the CBI headquarters with a police escort. Minutes later, an official order was out which sent the CBI top brass —Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana — on forced leave. Officers reportedly close to Verma — A K Sharma and Manish Sinha — were also shifted.
Rao’s first task as the head of the country’s premier investigative agency was to seal his predecessor’s office. The offices of both Asthana and Verma were sealed and according to sources, no files were allowed to be moved to and fro from their offices till the afternoon.
Verma and Asthana were informed about the new chief’s orders early in the morning through official messengers. In the morning, they were stopped from entering their office and their official drivers were also withdrawn. Some staff who were at the office were also told to return in the afternoon, sources said.
Rao’s order came after the CVC recommended to the government to send the two warring officials and a few others on compulsory leave.