CBI arrests IPS officer Mirza in Narada sting, first arrest in the case

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A senior Indian Police Service officer, S M H Mirza was arrested on Thursday in connection with the Narada scam. Mirza was brought to a special CBI court in Kolkata on Thursday after medical test.

This is the first arrest after the 2016 Narada sting operation which purportedly showed about a dozen important leaders of ruling Trinamool Congress, besides Mirza, accepting cash from a representative of a fictitious company. Mirza was then posted as superintendent of Burdwan police.

The footage was aired about a fortnight before 2016 assembly elections in Bengal. The Narada scam refers to a series of sting videos shot by Naradanews.com over a period of two years.

The TMC sought to distance itself from Mirza’s arrest. “Each will face the consequence of his action. It is not proper for me to comment on these arrests. I have nothing to do with this,” said Trinamool Congress secretary general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee.

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Over the past few weeks, CBI officers took voice samples of several Trinamool Congress leaders in connection with the scam.

After the sting was aired, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that it was a result of political conspiracy.

The BJP welcomed the arrest of Mirza but said it was delayed action. “Though delayed it is a welcome step. People will now want to know who would be held next,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.

Left legislator Sujan Chakraborty also described the arrest as a “delayed but correct step”.

Former Kolkata mayor and advocate Bikash Bhattacharya said that he should have been arrested long ago.

The sting was conducted by Mathew Samuel, who was the chief executive of Narada News. “Each and everyone seen in those videos should be arrested,” said Mathew Samuel on Thursday.

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