Rakesh Asthana, who was once seen to be in line for the CBI director’s post, was moved out of the investigating agency on Thursday evening, capping a bitter tug of war between Asthana and his ex-boss who was sacked this month, Alok Verma.
A government order said Asthana’s tenure at the CBI was being curtailed. The same order also named three more CBI officers who were being shown the door.
Joint Director Arun Kumar Sharma and Deputy Inspector General Manish Kumar Sinha, who were seen to be close to Alok Verma and had investigated Asthana were also removed. A Superintendent of Police-rank officer Jayant J Naiknavare has also been sent out of the agency.
Asthana’s exit comes days before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection panel is to decide on the agency’s next full-time boss. M Nageswara Rao has been heading the investigating agency as an interim measure, triggering howls of protest from the Congress which alleged the government did not want a CBI chief who could act independently.