KOLKATA: Following a direction from West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, the TMC on Sunday lodged a police complaint against Narada CEO Mathew Samuel.
Mathew Samuel is the editor of Narada news website, which had conducted a sting operation on 11 TMC leaders including state ministers and MPs just before the State assembly polls.
Mamata had on Saturday said she wanted to unmask the “politics of blackmail” and that was why she ordered a probe. “You sought an appointment for an interview, kept money on the table, photographed it and then called it a sting operation saying it was a bribe. Media is being unethical and resorting to blackmail,” she alleged without naming Samuel.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kolkata police will soon visit New Delhi to question him and, if need be, arrest him. The SIT is led by Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Ratna Chatterjee, wife of Kolkata mayor and state Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, filed an FIR at the New Market police station. Ratna alleged that Samuel, with a motivated plan, tried to harm her husband and the TMC, and demanded that the “conspirators” of the sting should be booked according to law.
Samuel has been booked under IPC Sections 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 500 (defamation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 171(G) (false statement in connection with an election) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy).
Meanwhile, Samuel said this was a conspiracy to put him in jail. “The man who received money from me during the sting operation assured me of business. There is no question of blackmail as I never met them again after completing my sting operation. The allegation by the Chief Minister is baseless and absurd. I will consult my lawyer as a case is already pending in the Calcutta High Court,” he said.
The Congress, CPI(M), and BJP slammed the Trinamool government’s move.