Iqbal Names Narada ‘Mediator’


Kolkata: Deputy mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Iqbal Ahmed recorded his statement before the special investigation team on Tuesday in connection with the Narada investigations after being summoned to Lalbazar. He reportedly named a person who acted as a mediator in the case.

Unlike IPS officer SHM Meerza, who was questioned earlier, it was learnt that Ahmed remembered certain details about his meeting with Samuel, though, he claimed he was not involved in any wrongdoing. Iqbal reportedly told them that he had met Samuel through his driver.

Ahmed did not mince words when asked about the interrogation. The deputy mayor said he had told the sleuths the exact circumstances under which Narada CEO Mathew Samuel met him with a fictitious name, offered a whole lot of corporate support and names of people Samuel wanted to meet.

Police said they made the influential central Kolkata Trinamool leader first write down his statements before video-graphing his responses to certain questions. Ahmed arrived at 5 pm in a blue-coloured car and walked inside the Lalbazar detective department building.

“I have decided to tell everything I know about Samuel. This will include the person who sent him to me, the persons he wanted to meet and the person I asked him to meet. He was a cheatingbaaz offering to sponsor several events. I will fully cooperate with the police,” said Ahmed. His statement though raised some curiosity within Trinamool circles, given most top Trinamool leaders had denied having been part of this sting.

Ahmed was reportedly shown on the Narada sting and is alleged by opposition to have acted as the “middleman”, taking the journalists posing as businessmen interested in corporate ventures in Bengal to meet different leaders. Ahmed has time and again denied such allegations. Not shown to have taken any money in the sting tapes, Iqbal had contested from the Khanakul assembly constituency in Hooghly and won convincingly. He is also a close relative of Sultan Ahmed, the TMC MP who was shown purportedly accepting bribe in the tapes.

Police sources said they will be noting down the statement of the leader in this respect. “This is in line with our earlier statement that all links that come up during the probe will be investigated. It is too early to say what leads we have got from him,” said a source. Top Lalbazar officers too did not spill much. “We have asked him to come to Lalbazar on Tuesday and he turned up. His statement was recorded,” said joint CP (crime and STF) Vishal Garg.