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CBI Questions IPS Officer Mirza, Mukul Roy Together in Narada Scam

Mirza was the Superintendent of Police of Burdwan district in West Bengal when the sting operation was conducted.

Updated
India
3 min read
File image of IPS officer SMH Mirza.
i

In connection with the Narada tapes scandal, the CBI on Sunday, 29 September, interrogated senior BJP leader Mukul Roy at his residence, together with arrested IPS officer SMH Mirza.

Mirza, who was arrested on Thursday, was taken to the BJP leader’s south Kolkata residence by the agency officials, PTI reported quoting sources.

The entire "face-to-face interrogation" has been videographed by the sleuths of the agency, they said.

Roy was interrogated for nearly three hours by the CBI on Saturday at its Nizam Palace office.

Mirza has been earlier grilled nine times in connection with the scam and was produced before a special CBI court in Kolkata, which remanded him in the central probe agency's custody till 30 September.

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Mirza’s Role in the Narada Scam

The IPS officer is among 13 people, including TMC leaders and ministers, who have been summoned by the agency for questioning and voice sample test in connection with the probe into the scandal.

Mirza was the superintendent of police of Burdwan district when the sting operation was conducted by Mathew Samuels of the Narada News portal.

He was briefly suspended after the CBI in 2017 lodged an FIR against him in the case. The suspension was later revoked, but Mirza has since been placed on ‘compulsory waiting’ without any posting.

In the footage, released ahead of 2016 West Bengal Assembly polls, persons resembling senior Trinamool Congress leaders and Mirza were seen accepting money from the representatives of a fictitious company in return for favours.

The IPS officer was purportedly shown accepting Rs 5 lakh in cash from a businessman in one of the video clips.

According to CBI sources, his voice sample matched with that of the tape.

"Mirza was questioned eight times in the past but he was not really cooperative. We have ample evidence against him," a source in the agency said.

BJP Leader Mukul Roy Fails to Appear Before CBI

BJP leader Mukul Roy on Friday cited "preoccupations" as the reason for his non-appearance before the CBI, which had summoned him for questioning in connection with Narada tapes scandal, agency sources said.

The former railway minister sought more time to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Roy, who was then the TMC MP, was purportedly shown conversing with Mathew Samuels who claimed to have conducted the sting operation in 2014.

The probe agency is yet to conduct a voice sample test of Roy to ascertain the veracity of the footages, which was released just before the assembly polls in 2016.

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Opposition Parties Welcome Mirza’s Arrest

Mirza's arrest was welcomed by Opposition parties in West Bengal, with the BJP claiming "it's just the beginning".

"Many more arrests are in the pipeline, just wait for a few days. Those who have looted public money, taken bribes would be put behind bars. No one would be spared," BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said.

Opposition Congress and the Left Front also welcomed the arrest but wondered what took the CBI 3.5 years to make the first arrest.

Samuel who claimed to have conducted the sting operation in 2014 hoped others involved in the case would meet the same fate soon.

"The sting operation was conducted in 2014 but the tape (sting footage) was released in March, 2016. The CBI has arrested one of them. I am hoping others will also be arrested soon. I am really happy," he said.

The leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress, however, declined to make any comment, even as party secretary general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee said, "Everybody has to pay for his deeds and the arrest has nothing to do with the TMC."

(With inputs from PTI)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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