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CBI sends both its warring officers on leave

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Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sent both its warring officers- Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on leave till an internal probe concludes.

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Joint Director Nageshwar Rao has been given the charge of interim director for the time being.

The CBI headquarters was reportedly sealed on Tuesday and no staff was allowed to enter or leave till the investigating team was inside the premises.

Earlier, Verma has himself relieved Asthana of all the charges and had even recommended that he be transferred out of the agency.

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Asthana, the second senior-most officer in the federal agency has been accused of taking bribes.

He was able to secure protection from High Court which ordered a ‘status quo’ until the next hearing on October 29.

Asthana had also complained against Verma to the Cabinet Secretary and alleged that the latter had taken a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a Hyderabad-based real estate agent Sathish Sana.

Sana was being investigated by a team led by Asthana in a bribery case allegedly involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

The CBI has arrested Devender Kumar, the DySP and investigation officer in this case. He was accused of fabricating the statement of Sana purportedly claiming that a Rajya Sabha MP had met Verma on his pending case and assured him of relief and a clean chit.

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