In connection with a Narada News channel’s sting operation showing some TMC leaders purportedly accepting money for consideration, the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Kolkata Police on Thursday summoned the channel’s CEO Mathew Samuel.
According to a top Kolkata Police officer, after failing “to contact Samuel over the last couple of days”, the assistant commissioner of police, EOW, detective department of the Kolkata Police, mailed him the summon to the e-mail Id from the Narada news website at 3.54pm
Asking Samuel to “treat the letter as most urgent”, the letter directed him to make himself “immediately” available before the office of the ACP at Kolkata Police’s headquarter at Lalbazar for investigation into the case.
Samuel told PTI he has got an email from Kolkata Police and was consulting his lawyers before deciding his next step.
“Currently I am busy with some official work. I am consulting my lawyers in connection with the matter,” Samuel said over the phone.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had on June 17 ordered a probe by Kolkata police into the controversial Narada sting operation and asserted that her party had not taken “a single penny” from anyone in the sting as well as the Saradha chit fund scam.
The Narada sting operation, which surfaced when the state was at the threshold of the assembly elections, purportedly showed several Trinamool Congress leaders and an IPS officer accepting money for consideration.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) under Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, comprising senior officers of the detective department, cyber crime cell and economic offence wing, has already started a “thorough examination” of the video footage of the sting operation.
Following the order, an FIR was lodged at the New Market police station by city mayor and fire and emergency services minister Sovan Chattopadhyay’s wife last Saturday.
Chattopadhyay was among others caught in the sting video released by Narada News purportedly accepting money.
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).
An investigation into the Narada sting operation is presently being conducted by the Lok Sabha ethics committee while a case is pending over the issue in the Calcutta high court.