KOLKATA: The CBI made its first arrest in connection with the 2016 Narada sting operation case on Thursday by taking IPS officer SMH Mirza in its custody. Mirza was the then superintendent of police, Burdwan district when the sting operation emerged days before the Assembly polls in Bengal. A person resembling Mirza was seen accepting money from a purported businessman in the videotape.
The investigating agency interrogated Mirza on several occasions after CEO of Narada news Mathew Samuels provided vital information against him. According to CBI sources, Mirza was unable to satisfy the officials of the agency and explain accepting cash.
In the past few weeks, the CBI collected voice samples of several Trinamool MPs, ministers and leaders whose names were mentioned in the FIR as suspects. The central agency produced Mirza in a city court seeking his custody.
In the sting operation, several persons resembling Trinamool heavyweights were seen accepting cash. The central agency has also approached the Lok Sabha speaker and sought permission to prosecute three sitting Trinamool MPs—Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Prasun Banerjee and a former parliamentarian of the party, Subhendu Adhikary, who is presently a minister in Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet.
All the four leaders were named in the FIR as accused which was registered in 2017 after a month-long inquiry was conducted on the orders of Kolkata High Court. In the FIR, the CBI alleged that the sting operation shows Roy, Ghosh Dastidar and Adhikary accepting cash Rs 5 lakh each from a person posing as a representative of a fictitious company for its business venture in Bengal. Banerjee was seen receiving Rs 4 lakh.
According to CBI sources, it will file a chargesheet, naming all the four leaders, as soon as the sanction is accorded by the Lok Sabha speaker. The agency had also interrogated Mukul Roy, the then senior Trinamool leader, before he joined the BJP.