Image source: The Indian Express
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday arrested ministers, Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, TMC legislator, Madan Mitra and a former minister Sovan Chatterjee, part of TMC till 2019, and then joined the BJP, but left the saffron party in March 2021 and didn’t contest the elections this year, were arrested in the case of Narada Sting Operation aka the bribe case. Narada String Operation: The Narada sting operation was a sting operation carried out by Mathew Samuel targeting high-ranking officials and politicians of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC). It showed several politicians and a high-ranked police officer accepting cash bribes in exchange for providing unofficial favors to a company. All of them were state ministers who have been arrested in the case of bribery. However the TMC ministers claims that the arrest has been made on the basis of no evidence, without any prior notice but video tapes were released ahead of 2016 assembly elections and a probe was ordered by the Calcutta High Court in 2017. TMC officials: Listening to the news, Bengal’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee and other TMC officers rushed to the CBI office and Banerjee claimed that without the state’s speaker and government’s permission it’s illegal to detain the state ministers and further said, “you have to arrest me, if you arrest my officials.” Protests: This incident had sparked a widespread outrage among the TMC party members. TMC supporters took out on the streets, in front of the office and protest against the move and created ruckus, in front of the office, blocked the roads, burned the tires etc. The Central forces are guarding the CBI office and had to resort to baton charges, in order to disperse the protesters. Case: invalid The four TMC leaders are being questioned at Nizam Palace CBI office. The action was taken after the governor Jagdeep , sanctioned prosecution against them and gave his consent for filing a charge sheet against the four accused. Although the arrests have been declared illegal by the West Bengal speaker Biman Banerjee, and he further said he is unaware why CBI officials went to the governor, since the speaker’s chair wasn’t vacant. TMC: Outrageous TMC spokesperson, Kunal Ghosh expressed his outrage by questioning, “Why was an FIR not lodged against Mukul Roy who is now the national vice-president of the BJP? Roy had taken money from former IPS officer Mirza. Also, why has Suvendu Adhikari, who is now the leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, not been arrested? He was also seen taking money in the tapes.” He further added, “That’s because they have joined the BJP and got protection. This is nothing but a revenge tactic by the BJP as they lost the Assembly polls.” He said, “the BJP has become vindictive just because they can’t accept their defeat in the Assembly polls.” Covid-19 upsurge The TMC and other parties have also questioned the timing of the arrest, i.e. when the Bengal covid cases are on spike and right after Mamata’s clear cut victory that has turned into a battle between her and the BJP Latest update: According to the latest report the four political officer word granted bail by a CBI court in Kolkata. They were produced in a virtual hearing of the court after CBI sought their custody.