CBI Row Intensifies – M Nageshwar Rao interim chief as Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana Sent on Leave

M Nageshwar Rao

M Nageshwar Rao was appointed as the new interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday as the govt asked CBI chief Alok Verma and no. 2 CBI official Rakesh Asthana to go on leave

New Delhi: The in-fighting within the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took an unprecedented turn in the wee hours of Wednesday when a government order asked the two top officials of the probe agency – CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana – to go on leave. Meanwhile, M Nageshwar Rao, presently a Joint Director in the CBI, has been appointed as the interim director of the investigating agency with immediate effect.

While Asthana has been accused by the CBI to be involved in a bribery scandal, the No.2 CBI official has accused his boss, Verma, of “falsely implicating” him in the case. Amid the escalating controversy surrounding the CBI, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, issued an order dated October 23, 2018, announcing the appointment of Rao as the interim head of the agency

Rao reportedly took over the charge as the interim director at 2 am on Wednesday, shortly after the order was issued, and arrived at the CBI headquarters at around 7 am, following which he ordered the transfer of several CBI officials who are said to be the key aides of Alok Verma.

Who is M Nageshwar Rao? 

  1. Mannem Nageswara Rao is a 1986 batch IPS officer belonging to the Odisha cadre. On April 7, 2016, Rao was appointed as the Joint Director in the premier probe agency for a period of five years. Prior to that, he was the Additional Director General of Odisha Police.
  2. Rao has served as the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Odisha’s four districts – Mayurbhanj, Nabarangapur, Bargarh and Jagatsinghpur- in the past, besides being the SP, Railways, Railways at Rourkela and Cuttack and the SP of the Crime Branch.
  3. He has the distinction of the being the first officer in Odisha to use DNA fingerprinting in crime probe while investigating the a rape case in Jagatsinghpur district in 1996. He is said to be known for his tough cop-qualities and demeanour.
  4. Rao, who has previously served as the chief of the Odisha Fire Service, was awarded the chief minister’s award for his contribution during cyclones Phailin in 2013 and Hudhud in 2014. He has also received President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service, President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, Special Duty Medal and Odisha Governor’s Medal.
  5. The current interim Director of CBI hails from Borenarsapur village in Telangana’s Warangal district. He completed his post graduation in Chemistry from Osmania University in Hyderabad. He did his research work in Madras IIT before joining the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1986.
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