“This is a victory for Indian journalism,” said Mathew Samuel, the man who conducted the Narada sting operation against prominent Trinamool ministers and MPs, when Hindustan Times talked to him minutes after the Supreme Court upheld the Calcutta High Court order asking the CBI to probe the video tapes Samuel had produced. Excerpts from the interview:
HT: Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the HC order, how do you feel?
Samuel: I welcome the apex court order. I hope all this political drama will come to an end and truth will prevail. The court has taken note of the fact that the tapes provide prima facie evidence of corruption. This is a victory for Indian journalism. I have no agenda against any political party. My job is to expose the truth.
HT: Do you think this order will also affect the separate criminal investigation Kolkata Police initiated against you?
Samuel: It should. They (the Kolkata Police) was trying to prove that the videos were part of a conspiracy rather than investigating the content of those videos. Abhi dukh ka kudh, paani ka paani ho jayea (now you can make out what’s milk and what’s water). I know this is an old political cliché but right now it sounds appropriate.
HT: Do you think Trinamool leaders are feeling shaky because you have said in your affidavit that it was Trinamool Rajya Sabha K D Singh’s company that funded the sting operation?
Samuel: When I released the tapes for the first time in 2016 everybody asked me who funds Narada, which is my own company. When the CBI asked me who funded this particular sting operation I told them that in 2014 my stay and travel in West Bengal was funded by Alchemist, a company owned by K D Singh. (In 2014, Samuel worked for Tehelka which was owned by Singh). Now let the CBI investigate.
HT: You said a few weeks ago that you were facing threats. Have you sought security from Delhi Police?
Samuel: Right now I am at my home in Kerala, recovering from a surgery. So far I have received 60-70 threats on my Facebook Messenger. All these came from unknown people. I have also seen a few men moving around my house suspiciously. But I haven’t asked for any security cover from anyone.