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Have No Links With NSA Doval, Says Ex-RAW Officer on Reports of Sons' 'Involvement' in CBI Bribery Case

Prasad alleged that his sons were being framed and said he had full faith in God and courts.

Manoj Gupta | CNN-News18

Updated:December 19, 2018, 10:08 AM IST

Days after the CBI bribery case took the nation by storm, retired RAW joint secretary Dineshwar Prasad — whose sons were alleged to be the middlemen in the case — has denied any links with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval or CBI special director Rakesh Asthana. Prasad also maintained that he knows Samant Goel, an IPS officer who is supposedly close to Asthana, from his days in the RAW.

Here are edited excerpts from CNN-News18’s interview with the retired RAW joint secretary.

What do you have to say about the arrest of your son Manoj Prasad by CBI?

It's very unfortunate. I was told by my daughter in the morning that Manoj had been arrested in the middle of the night. She told me that someone informed her over phone that Manoj has been held on instructions of RAW. She was very scared and nervous. She cried and begged me to enquire about the matter from my colleagues. Any father in such a circumstance would do everything to know what was happening. I also called up many people to find out about his arrest.

In an interview to CNN-News18 in Patiala House Court, your son had claimed that he never met CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, and only through newspapers he came to know about the controversy. What's your reaction on this?

He is absolutely right. Both my sons have been saying this from day one that they have never spoken or have ever met Mr Asthana. The entire matter looks so fishy and fabricated. In fact, Manoj mentioned to our lawyers that earlier the team was putting pressure on him to accept that he knows Mr Asthana and all the transactions have been done at the officer’s behest.

CBI officials are claiming that after Manoj was arrested on October 16 and brought to CBI HQ, he was visibly agitated and told officers about his proximity to NSA Ajit Doval. Is it true that you and your family still share a relationship with Doval?

This is another big lie. What does Manoj have to do with Doval, whom he has never ever met in his life? While working for RAW, even I never got to meet the NSA since he used to stay busy in the IB (Intelligence Bureau). Unfortunately, the way this entire matter has been portrayed, is beyond my understanding.

Have you or your sons, Manoj or Somesh, ever met NSA Ajit Doval?

No, never. Manoj is very fond of posting his pictures with everyone he meets on Facebook. You can check yourself. However, he has never met Asthana or Doval or any other person.

What kind of relationship does your family share with Samant Goel, Special Secretary at RAW. Did he help you or your family meet Doval?

No, never. He did not help us meet the NSA. I called up Samant because we worked in the same organisation and had met a few times. It’s very common among service brothers to remain in touch with each other. When my daughter informed me about Manoj’s arrest, I could not think of anyone else. I wanted to know what was happening. The entire family was panicking. Samant told me that he would try to find out.

Is it true that Manoj Prasad wanted some favour and money was routed to Rakesh Asthana through Samant Goel?

This is utter nonsense.

You are now denying everything. Who do you think is behind all this?

Let CBI and government agencies find out who is behind all this and it’s important to get to the bottom of it. My son is an honest boy. Why would he admit things that he has never done. It’s a false case. Someone is trying to use him to settle scores. I can swear that neither I, nor my sons have anything to do with any of these people. None of us have any connections or associations with Doval or Asthana. Then why are we being harassed?

Do you have faith in Indian judicial system?

I have full faith in God and in the courts, and I am sure that the truth will emerge and the guilty would be exposed.

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