The Union Home Ministry (MHA) has suspended a superintendent of police rank officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on charges of corruption, sources said on Tuesday.
The officer has been identified as Vishal Garg, deputed at the Delhi headquarters of the NIA. This is the second time since 2019 that Garg was placed under suspension on charges of corruption.
According to sources, the allegation of corruption has been made in connection with an insurgent group in Northeast India.
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 corruption charge.
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.