The Haryana Civil Secretariat witnessed dramatic scenes Friday afternoon as Health Minister Anil Vij caught a man allegedly spying on him. Vij, also the sports minister, had stepped out of his office when he saw a “suspicious” person moving around. Vij caught hold of the man, pulled him inside his office and questioned him, only to find that the man belonged to the Haryana Police CID wing.
The man reportedly identified himself as ASI Surinder.
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Sources said that on being questioned, Surinder told Vij that an ADGP rank officer had asked him to keep a watch on the people coming to meet Vij in his office. A diary in Surinder’s possession reportedly showed that he had noted down details — names, addresses, contact details and the time spent in the office — of people who met Vij in the last 10 days.
Vij summoned an additional chief secretary-rank officer from his department and asked him to enquire about the episode. Vij also called up the ADGP and reprimanded him for allegedly deputing a man to “spy” on him. The officer, however, claimed he was unaware of the incident.
Sources said Vij also called up Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is also the Home Minister, and expressed his displeasure. Khattar is learnt to have expressed ignorance about the incident.
Vij later called Haryana Director General of Police Y P Singhal to his office and handed over Surinder to him.
“I have ordered a probe into the incident. Inspector General of Police (CID) Sandeep Khirwar shall conduct it and submit a report to me on Monday. Surinder was on watchers duty at the Civil Secretariat. I do not know what he was doing specifically outside the minister’s office. It will be checked if he was specifically posted outside the minister’s office,” said Singhal.
Addressing the media later, Vij said, “I suspected the person outside my office since I had seen him there a number of times earlier as well. I questioned him about his identity. He told me that he was from the CID. I got suspicious as to why a CID man was standing outside my office. I cannot say if the person was spying on me. It is for the government to find out. I am told that an enquiry has been ordered. It will be clear once the enquiry report comes. They (the police) will find out if the man was posted specifically on the eighth floor or somewhere else. If the DGP claims that the man could move around anywhere in the secretariat, I would like to ask why he only stood outside my office all these days.”
He added that there was a possibility that the man had accessed his office files. “This man had been keeping a watch on my office for the last three-four months. When he disclosed that he was from the CID, it is apparently clear what he was doing here,” Vij said.
Vij also did not rule out the possibility that his phones were being tapped by the state government’s CID wing, or that people could be keeping a watch on his residence in Ambala. “Anything is possible. If the CID men are keeping a watch particularly on my office, their intention is clear,” Vij added.