A Central Bureau of Investigation officer has accused his senior colleague of being involved in fake encounters of 14 people in Jharkhand, NDTV reported on Friday. In a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office dated September 25, Deputy Superintendent of Police NP Mishra has sought the removal of AK Bhatnagar, a joint director (administration) in the CBI. Copies of the letter have also been sent to CBI chief and the chief vigilance commissioner.

“It is submitted that AK Bhatnagar, who is presently working as JD (Admn), CBI, is grossly involved in the fake encounter of 14 innocent persons in Jharkhand,” Mishra said in his letter. “It is also learnt that the related case is under investigation in CBI SC-I Branch.” Mishra said the family members of the alleged encounter victims have already lodged complaints.

Mishra has also written a separate five-page complaint to the CVC. He has pointed out Bhatnagar’s alleged involvement in “various corrupt practices”.

Last year, Mishra had accused three CBI officers of “corruption and manipulation of evidence” in the murder case of a journalist in Chhattisgarh. However, the agency had denied all the allegations.

Mishra has also challenged his transfer. He is currently working in the division that handles the extradition of fugitives through Interpol. The Delhi High Court will hear his plea on October 1. However, Bhatnagar has filed a petition for early hearing as he fears “getting exposed by the complaints”, Mishra claimed, according to News18.

The CBI was embroiled in a bitter infighting last year also when former agency director Rakesh Asthana was accused of receiving kickbacks and extorting money from a businessman. Asthana and Devendra Kumar, along with middleman Manoj Prasad, came under the CBI lens for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore in exchange for a clean chit to Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who was being investigated in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. Qureshi is accused in multiple graft cases.

Asthana, in turn, accused former CBI Director Alok Verma of trying to falsely implicate him, and levelled corruption charges against him. The Centre subsequently sent both Asthana and Verma on compulsory leave in October last year.

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