The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday registered a First Information Report in the Narada sting operation case against Trinamool Congress leaders Madan Mitra, Mukul Roy, Saugata Roy and ten others. On March 17, the Calcutta High Court had ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the sting operation carried out by Narada News, in which several Trinamool Congress legislators had purportedly been seen taking bribes.
The First Information Report also lists Sultan Ahmed, Iqbal Ahmed, Kakoli Ghosh, Prasun Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari, Sovan Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Aparupa Poddar and serving IPS officer Syed Hussain Meerza, ANI reported.
The Supreme Court had dismissed a petition by the West Bengal government challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday responded to the FIRs and called it a “political” game. She added that a name on an FIR did not prove guilt, ANI reported.
On March 21, Chief Executive Officer Mathew Samuel had said he feared for his safety and that of his family. In a Facebook post, Mathew Samuel, the man behind the sting operation, had alleged that a car had followed his vehicle “suspiciously” for 13 km when he had gone to a hospital in Kerala.
In March 2016, not long before the West Bengal Assembly elections, Narada News had released videos that purportedly showed several Trinamool leaders accepting cash in return for favours. The Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee had sought an explanation from the five TMC legislators seen in the clips. In April 2016, the High Court had set up a three-member committee to keep evidence from the investigation “in safe custody”.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged that the sting operation was a conspiracy against her government and party members. She had claimed that it was meant to hurt her party’s image before the polls. In June 2017, she had ordered a Kolkata Police inquiry into the case.