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The war in the CBI is not between individuals, but between two groups: K Ragothaman


New Delhi, Oct 23: The dirty linen has been washed in public and two top men in the Central Bureau of Investigation are at war. The spat between the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana has made headlines for the past week.

The war in the CBI is not between individuals, but between two groups: K Ragothaman

In a bid to resolve the issue, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval met with Verma and were briefed about the situation. Both advised Verma to ensure that the reputation of the agency and government is not tarnished.

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This is unheard of and officers washing dirty linen like this in public is happening for the first time in history says former CBI officer, K Ragothaman, who was also the lead investigator in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. He tells OneIndia that this is not just a fight between two individuals, but a battle between two groups.

A group vs group fight:

Washing dirty linen like this in public is disappointing. There have been CBI cases against two former directors, but the issue never came out like this in public says Ragothaman.

This is an unheard of kind of scenario in the CBI and the very fact that the top two are fighting is unfortunate. I would refer to it as a dog fight in public, he also adds. What is there now to sort out here. It is already out there in public. There is a huge damage that has been done to the organisation, he further adds.

I feel that the government action in this case came a bit too late. This should have been sorted out six months back. Basically Verma never wanted Asthana and this is where the entire issue began.

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From what I know IPS officers never fight among themselves. They try and save each other all the time. This one is a peculiar case. It is purely politics, which has backfired, Ragothaman also adds.

If the government was keen on appointing Asthana as the chief, they should have called Verma and told him that they are unhappy with him. They should have removed him and let Asthana have his way. I am sure Verma would have obliged.

Now this fight according to me is not between two individuals. It is a group vs group fight.

The IAS officers are supporting Verma and it appears the CVC is supporting Asthana. You must remember that to register a case against an officer above the rank of joint secretary the permission of the Department of Personnel is needed. The IAS officers got together and sought permission from the Prime Minister to register a case against Asthana. They put together all the evidence they had before seeking permission as a result of which the same could not have been refused and was granted.

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The way forward:

Ragothaman says that a lot of damage has already been done. My best suggestion is that Asthana should be told to go on leave or suspended pending investigation in the corruption case.

The investigation needs to be squared up. After all this case is based on a statement by an accused. Asthana can very well fight it out. In my view if Asthana remains, then Verma would go all out. I feel that Asthana is likely to be on his way out. However mark my words all this will fizzle out and the end result will be zero. I would like to conclude by saying this is the worst possible incident in the history of the CBI and we are all very ashamed of it.

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