Four men from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) were on Thursday arrested from outside the residence of Alok Verma, the CBI director who was sent on leave by the agency amid an ongoing spat between the top officials.

The men were caught suspiciously lurking around the building and snooping this morning.

They were intercepted and held by Verma’s chief security officer, who found them sitting in two cars. The men were waiting outside Verma’s 2, Janpath Road, official bungalow named as CBI House since Wednesday night.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the IB have also been informed about the matter.

The four men after being handed over to the Delhi Police, identified themselves as Dheeraj Kumar, Ajay Kumar, Prashant Kumar and Vineet Kumar Gupta, all claiming to be IB officers, an IANS report said.

Dheeraj and Ajay said they were junior officers while the other two claimed to be Assistant Content Officers.

The police have recovered identity cards and several mobiles phones from the suspects’ possessions.

Meanwhile, the IB issued a statement saying the suspects did belong to the bureau.

“The IB is entrusted with the responsibility of collecting intelligence on situations that may affect, inter alia, public order and internal security. Its units are routinely deployed on a regular basis in sensitive areas. Since such officials are on routine duties, they carry their identity cards… One such unit, in the early hours of today (Thursday), halted on Janpath, where there was an unusual collection of people,” the statement read.

“This was with a view to check the reason why people had collected at the location… This is a high-security zone. Unfortunately, their presence was projected otherwise,” the statement further said.

In an unprecedented move, the Central Bureau of Investigation divested Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana from their duties on Wednesday as the two hit out at each other over bribery accusations in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi money laundering case.

Read | CBI chief Alok Verma, Asthana sent on leave; Nageshwar Rao takes over as interim chief

Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao was given the charge of the director with immediate effect. The decision was taken by the prime minister-led appointments committee on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, CBI Director Alok Verma on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the probe agency’s decision to send him on leave. The CBI chief’s petition was accepted by the Supreme Court and is likely to be heard on October 26.

(With inputs from IANS)