The SP-rank officer of India’s premier investigating agency Vishal Garg was shifted from Manipur just three months ago in January this year. His successor took over the charge on January 28, 2023.
An officer of National Investigation Agency (NIA), who was posted in Manipur for eight months, has been suspended for alleged corruption. The SP-rank officer of India’s premier investigating agency Vishal Garg was shifted from Manipur just three months ago in January this year. His successor took over the charge on January 28, 2023.
According to the India Today report, SP Vishal was accused of accepting bribes in a Manipur-related case. The NIA raided the senior officer’s premises and his office at the NIA headquarters was thereafter sealed. The NIA has also formed a team to investigate the matter.
The Times of India report said, “Sources indicated that a complaint accusing Garg of seeking a bribe in connection with a case relating to the northeast, had been received by NIA. Usually, NIA conducts a preliminary probe into such complaints and, in the interest of a fair investigation, may transfer or suspend the personnel under probe. This is done with the approval of the home ministry,”
The Indian Express also reported attributing to sources that Garg is accused of seeking bribes in a case related to a Northeast insurgent group. NIA SP Vishal Garg has been suspended on the orders of agency chief Dinkar Gupta following a complaint of alleged bribery against the officer, it said.
However, all the reports said the agency did not elaborate details of the charges against Garg.
This is the second time that Garg was placed under suspension on charges of corruption.
In 2019, Garg along with two other NIA officials– Nishant and Mithilesh– was placed under suspension for allegedly demanding Rs 2 crore from a Delhi-based businessman for not naming him in a terrorism funding case involving Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. Nishant and Mithilesh were then posted with the NIA’s intelligence and operations wing.
In 2020, the MHA reinstated Garg and gave a clean chit to two juniors. Garg was then transferred to New Delhi from Lucknow and made in charge of training with “immediate effect”.
The allegations against the trio were found to be prima facie correct, but they could not be substantiated despite a year-long inquiry. Garg was reinstated in the NIA in 2020 and was made in charge of training.
Garg belonged to the BSF but was absorbed into the NIA in 2015.
As per sources, the fresh suspension of Garg is linked to another charge of corruption.
The MHA’s action followed an examination of Garg’s probe report. MHA is the cadre controlling authority for IPS and NIA officers.
This is the second instance of an NIA officer being accused of corruption. Earlier, Arvind Negi was charged with corruption in a case related to the nexus between Kashmir-based NGOs and terrorists. He was accused of passing on Lashkar-related documents allegedly to Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez in exchange for money.