Central Bureau of Investigations arrested on Thursday, SMH Mirza a senior IPS officer in connection with the Narada Sting Case. This is so far the first arrest made in the case.
The case dates back to 2016, in which Mathew Samuel, the Chief Executive of Narada News released a series of videos in which many Trinamool Congress leaders were seen to be accepting cash in return of favours. The videos were released prior to the assembly elections in the state.
Here is all you need to know:
The Sting Operation
The sting operation led by Mathew Samuel and planned out in 2 years turned out to be a major headache for the Mamata government as it revealed some of its major leaders accepting money. The released videos show 13 Trinamool ministers and party leaders accepting a bribe in return of favours and misusing official positions.
The video turned out to be a major embarrassment for the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as the sting videos were released at a time when TMC leaders were already under attack for their alleged involvement in Saradha chit fund scam.
Samuel made a fictitious company and approached many of TMC MP’s asking for favours.
Firhad Hakim, Mukul Rai, Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Sultan Ahmed, Subrata Mukherjee, Subhendu Adhikari, Sovan Chatterjee, MP Aparupa Poddar, Madan Mitra, Iqbal Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and SMH Mirza are the leaders seen in the video.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee defended her MPs and said that the sting operation was a conspiracy hatched against her government and party members before the elections.
Following this, on June 2017, she ordered a police inquiry into the case.
High Court Interferes
As the issue became controversial Kolkata High Court, on March 17, 2017, asked for a preliminary enquiry by CBI. IT had also ordered the CBI to file an FIR if found necessary.
Within a month, the CBI filed a charge sheet against all the 13 TMC leaders linked with the video under Section 120 B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), Section 13 (2), 13 (1D) and Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act.
A special investigation team was also formed for further probe.
Mathew Samuel Taken to Custody
On June 19, this year the Central Bureau of Investigations took to custody Mathew Samuel the editor in chief of Narada News.
The investigation which was developing at a slower pace also re-energised with the Modi 2.0 government as it became an easy way to target the Mamata government, the biggest roadblock to BJP in Kolkata.
Mukul Roy, one of the TMC MP who was accused in the case meanwhile made a cross over to BJP.
CBI conducts voice sample tests and first arrest
Earlier this month, the CBI conducted a voice test of TMC MP Saugata Roy, former minister Madan Mitra, panchayat minister Subrata Roy and senior IPS officer SMH Mirza.
Finally, on 26th September, the first arrest in the case was made.
SMH Mirza, the superintend of police of Burdwan district was seen to be accepting cash from a businessman on behalf of the political leaders.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sujan Chakraborty said the arrest was “delayed but correct step.”