Former Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajendra Kumar wrote a letter—accessed by The Sunday Guardian—to the Ministry of Home Affairs on 22 May 2014, stating that the targeting of Intelligence Bureau officers in the Ishrat Jahan case was the “result of a sinister conspiracy” between IPS officer Satish Verma and Saleem Ali, former Special Director, Central Bureau of Investigation. The letter was addressed to the then Home Secretary, Anil Goswami.
Kumar, who was hounded by the CBI for his alleged role in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, has narrated in the letter how the conspiracy was allegedly executed by the two officials. “The entire case against IB officers is the result of a sinister conspiracy between Shri Satish Verma and Shri Saleem Ali, former Special Director, CBI. It is widely known in the CBI that the case against the IB officers was the result of personal vested interests of Shri K. Saleem Ali at the cost of the whole organization,” he wrote.
Kumar further stated that Ali’s subordinate officers had strong reservations against this move and were not willing to implicate the IB officers. “Sensing the mood of his subordinates, Shri Saleem Ali personally visited Mumbai from November 18, 2013 to November 21, 2013 and summoned the Dy.SP, SP and DIG there and forced them to propose charge sheeting of IB officers. The Director, CBI was out of the country on a scheduled tour from November 25 to December 02, 2013 and Shri Saleem Ali, utilizing the opportunity, again called the IO, SP and DIG to Delhi and finalized the case against IB officers. The deep and unhealthy interest of Shri Saleem Ali became further evident from the fact that the Joint Director supervising the case was out of station and the file was marked by him to his legal advisor, but Shri Saleem Ali forced the legal advisor of the Joint Director to hand over the file to him. So as not to appear as bypassing the established channel, Shri Saleem Ali also instructed the Joint Director to send his comments immediately, even though the Joint Director was on tour. The Joint Director gave a note opposing charge sheeting of IB officers citing lack of tangible and credible evidence against them. (However) Shri Saleem Ali, overruling the Joint Director, recommended charge sheeting of the IB officers, and to force the hands of the Director CBI, even made the outgoing Director of Prosecution of CBI agree with him.”
Kumar had also alleged that “Some junior officers were repeatedly called and interrogated by Satish Verma in most insulting manner and pressurized to name appellant for involvement in the false encounter. They had also reported the threats and pressure exerted on them by Satish Verma to their superior… These conspirators, who were working as officers of CBI, endangered even the national security and are liable for criminal action under Official Secrets Act and other penal provision.”
While Ali, an IPS Officer of 1978 Batch (Manipur-Tripura Cadre) who served in the CBI as Additional Director and Special Director from September 2011 to May 2012, is retired now, Verma, who was the member of the SIT constituted by the Gujarat High Court to probe the Ishrat case, is presently posted as Chief Vigilance Officer of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation, Shillong.
When asked, Rajendra Kumar refused to speak anything on the issue.