What is the Narada sting case and why has it come back to bite the TMC
New Delhi, May 17: The CBI on Monday arrested TMC leaders Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Madan Mitra as well as former party leader Sovan Chatterjee in Kolkata in connection with the Narada sting case in which politicians were purportedly caught taking money on camera, officials said.
The Narada string operation was carried out by Mathew Samuel, which showed several politicians and high ranked police personnel accepting bribes in exchange for providing favours to a company.
The sting was performed in 2014 for the news magazine Tehelka and was later published on a website in 2016. Following questions about the impartiality of the probe by the West Bengal police, the CBI took over the case after a court directed the agency to do so.
The latest action comes in the wake of the CBI getting set to file a chargesheet in the case. The four leaders went to the CBI office in Nizam Palace in Kolkata on Monday morning.
Soon after the news of their arrest spread, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with other leaders reached the CBI office.
The CBI had approached West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar seeking sanction to prosecute Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee, who were all ministers during the time of the alleged commission of the offence in 2014, they said.
Dhankar had recently granted sanction to prosecute all the four leaders following which the CBI finalised its charge sheet and moved to arrest them.
Hakim, Mukherjee and Mitra have been re-elected as TMC MLAs in the just-concluded assembly elections, while Chatterjee, who left the TMC to join the BJP, has severed links with both the camps.
The sting operation was purportedly conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada TV news channel in 2014 wherein people resembling TMC ministers, MPs and MLAs were allegedly seen receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company in lieu of favours.
The tapes were made public just before the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March, 2017.