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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

‘Will appear before CBI for questioning’: Mukul Roy on Narada scam

The Narada scam refers to a sting operation conducted between 2014 and 2016 and aired in March 2016. In the video footage about a dozen leaders of ruling Trinamool Congress were seen accepting cash from the official of a fictitious company.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2019 07:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday interrogated BJP leader Mukul Roy in connection with the Narada tapes scandal.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday interrogated BJP leader Mukul Roy in connection with the Narada tapes scandal.(HT Photo)
         

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national executive member Mukul Roy will appear before Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers on Saturday afternoon for questioning on Narada scam, he said on Friday.

CBI made the first arrest in this case on Thursday, when they nabbed IPS officer S M H Mirza, who was believed to be close to Roy.

On Thursday the investigative agency’s officers asked Roy to appear on Friday morning, but Roy said that he was preoccupied with other engagements and sought a day or two to come for questioning.

“I have to offer prayers for my departed ancestors on Saturday morning. I have informed the CBI that I am available after 2:30 pm,” said Roy.

The Narada scam refers to a sting operation conducted between 2014 and 2016 and aired in March 2016. In the video footage about a dozen leaders of ruling Trinamool Congress were seen accepting cash from the official of a fictitious company.

Those purportedly seen in the footage were Saugata Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (Lok Sabha MPs), Madan Mitra, Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Suvendu Adhikari (ministers), Sovan Chatterjee (minister and Kolkata mayor), Iqbal Ahmed (MLA) and S M H Mirza, who was posted as the superintendent of Burdwan district police.

The FIR registered on April 17, 2017 also named Mukul Roy, former Trinamool Congress number two, who joined Bharatiya Janata Party in November 2017. In end-August, CBI officers interrogated Mukul Roy in connection with the Narada scam. In mid-August, Sovan Chatterjee also switched to the BJP.

When asked whether the summons to BJP leader Mukul Roy proved that the CBI was acting neutrally, Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said that it has to be watched whether happens next.

It is believed that Roy might be questioned face to face with Mirza, who was remanded to CBI custody by a court till September 30.

On Thursday, BJP Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh said, “Mirza had said that he had to raise funds for the party. Let the truth come out now and let the culprits be punished. No accused can be called guilty or innocent until the court decides it,” said the party’s Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh, adding that the police officer has a lot of information in the case.

In his defence Mukul Roy told the media on Thursday that he was never seen in the video footage accepting money from anyone. He claimed that he asked the purported official of a fictitious company (Mathew Samuel) to meet Mirza since he (Samuel) had told him (Roy) that he wanted to start a business in Burdwan district where Mirza was the police chief.

“If one sets up a business, help from the police is required in procuring land,” said Roy.

In end-August, CBI officers interrogated Mukul Roy in connection with the Narada scam.

The sting was conducted by Mathew Samuel, chief executive of Narada News.

First Published: Sep 29, 2019 00:42 IST

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