Kolkata: After CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Iqbal Ahmed – Trinamool Congress MLA and Deputy Mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) – in connection with the Narada sting operation case.
In a letter to Ahmed, the ED has asked him to personally appear before them on June 21 in Kolkata, a source said. The founder of Narada news, Mathew Samuel has also summoned and is likely to be in Kolkata soon, a source said.
“Mathew was also summoned by the ED but he asked for protection from the Kolkata police. He has written a letter to Muchipara police station requesting for security,” a senior officer at Kolkata police said.
Recently, citing health reasons, Iqbal Ahmed failed to appear before the CBI in Narada case. Iqbal, in a letter to CBI, sought a seven-day extension on health grounds from the CBI. “The letter was sent by his lawyer and he is now supposed to meet CBI sleuths on June 17,” a source said.
On June 6, the CBI summoned Iqbal Ahmed in connection with the Narada case. Iqbal, an MLA from Khanakul in Hooghly district, was allegedly seen accepting a bribe in the sting operation.
CBI officials claimed that they have found some evidence and figures which they need to clarify from him.The sting operation was conducted by Narada news to expose the corrupt practices of ministers in the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government. The sting was conducted under the supervision of its (Narada News) founder Mathew Samuel for a period of two years.
Ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, Narada news released videos of the sting operation, which sent ripples across the political fraternity in the country.
Videos showed 13 TMC ministers and leaders accepting bribes in return for favours/ misusing official positions. The Narada sting operation caused a major embarrassment to the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee because it came at a time when TMC was already under criticism from the opposition parties following the Saradha chit-fund scam.
Those who were seen in the Narada sting tapes are Firhad Hakim, Mukul Rai, Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Sultan Ahmed, Subrata Mukherjee, Subhendu Adhikari, Sovan Chatterjee, TMC MP Aparupa Poddar, Madan Mitra, Iqbal Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and HMS Mirza.
On March 17, 2017, the Calcutta High Court ordered a preliminary probe to be conducted by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the sting operation case. The court also directed the CBI to register an FIR against those who were involved in the case, if required.
On April 17, CBI has filed a charge sheet against 13 TMC leaders and others in the Narada sting case. All of them were booked under Section 120 B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), Section 13 (2), 13 (1D) and Section of 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act.