A day after Anil Goswami was removed for allegedly trying to shield Saradha scam accused Matang Sinh from the CBI, officials revealed that the former Home Secretary had appeared to favour the politician earlier too, in ensuring that he retained Z-plus security cover.
It has also emerged that the CBI has initiated an internal probe to ascertain whether any of its officers had contacted its Joint Director in Kolkata, who is investigating the Saradha scam, in connection with the arrest of Sinh. The agency had effected a major reshuffle among its seven Joint Directors on Wednesday, after Sinh was arrested.
According to sources, the role of a senior IPS officer of a paramilitary force during Sinh’s arrest has also come under the scanner, and a report about his conduct sent to ‘higher-ups’ in the government.
Home Ministry officials told The Indian Express that it was due to Sinh’s proximity to Goswami that he was provided with Z-plus security in 2013, the year the bureaucrat took charge as Home Secretary.
They added that Sinh’s name was missing from a list of those whose security cover was reviewed after the NDA came to power.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which had been providing security to Sinh has now written to the ministry, seeking clarity on the former Union minister’s status after his arrest by CBI on Saturday in the chit fund scam.
Goswami was removed on Wednesday after the PMO was informed that he had allegedly spoken to a CBI official to stall Sinh’s arrest.
“A review meeting was held to prune the VIP security list but Sinh’s case was never brought before us. We were deciding cases on the basis of intelligence threats and if Sinh was given security cover on genuine grounds, his case should also have been discussed,” said a senior Home Ministry official.
Former UPA ministers Beni Prasad Verma, Jitin Prasada, Sachin Pilot and R P N Singh were among those whose security cover was either downgraded or removed after the NDA government took charge at the Centre.
Sources also pointed to Goswami’s earlier links to Sinh, saying the bureaucrat had been seen attending a birthday party organised by a woman who claimed to be Sinh’s employee at the politician’s residence in Delhi last year.
They added that it was the same woman who created a ruckus when CBI officers arrested him in Kolkata.