There’s an unprecedented crisis in the Central Bureau of Investigation. At the heart of the war in India’s top investigation agency is a tussle between CBI Director Alok Verma and his second-in-command, Rakesh Asthana, a Modi government appointee. Asthana has been charged with demanding a bribe from a Hyderabad businessman to let him off the hook in corruption investigations involving controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Asthana heads a CBI Special Investigation Team that is looking into the Qureshi matter.
The root of the crisis goes back to when Asthana was appointed to the post of CBI Special Director last October. Asthana is believed to have been handpicked for the post of by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The appointment was opposed by Verma because of an earlier corruption allegation against him (read Scroll.in’s explainer on the fracas here). Asthana, meanwhile, has also accused Verma of corruption.
This storm, which has been brewing behind the scenes for a year, culminated in the CBI ordering a raid into its own headquarters in New Delhi on Monday and arresting one of its men, CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar. The CBI official is also an accused in the bribery case against Asthana.
This bitter and public row within the CBI has set tongues wagging and Twitter hashtagging. To cope with the irony of the CBI ordering a raid on itself, Twitter shared jokes, memes and analyses with #CBIvsCBI.
Given the many strands to the case, many users opted for visual comparisons to communicate the unprecedented nature of the case.
A comparison with parrots was inevitable, given that the CBI was often criticised for being a “caged parrot” of the Congress-led government when the United Progressive Alliance was in power.
Sandeep Adhwaryu took the concept to the next level with this front-page cartoon for the Times of India.
The idea that this was akin to a dog chasing after his tale was also echoed by many.
Amid the controversy surrounding the CBI, reports of the imminent end of the long-running show CID, named after and centred on a fictional Indian investigate agency, prompted nostalgia and sadness for more reasons than one.
A Twitter user summed the entire row up by pointing out the other irony in this case.