Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel on Wednesday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Kolkata in connection with Narada sting case. Earlier, the CBI had summoned Samuel to appear before it on May 19. Samuel, however, did not appear on that date, saying he had recently undergone surgery. The CBI, which is investigating the charges of corruption, had already questioned Samuel. Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Muchipara Police had also asked Samuel to appear before it on May 24 and June 27 respectively in connection with the same case. The ED filed its case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after the CBI filed its case.
The sting operation pertains to the secret filming of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and an IPS officer while they were allegedly accepting money from representatives of a fictitious company in return for extending favours to it. TMC leaders against whom the CBI has registered cases, now also booked by the Enforcement Directorate, including Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar. West Bengal ministers, including Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee have also been named in the FIR.
Former minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza have also been made accused in the case. Samuel had earlier released three sets of videos of the sting operation, where top TMC leaders were allegedly seen accepting bribes from journalists posing as businessmen. The ruling party had dismissed the allegation citing that the tapes were ‘doctored’. The sting operation video was released by the portal on March 14, 2016, just ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.