Narada Tapes Case: BJP's Mukul Roy Decries Conspiracy as Arrested IPS Officer Accuses Him of Accepting Cash
File photo of BJP leader Mukul Roy.
Kolkata: Senior IPS officer SMH Mirza, arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Narada sting case on Monday, broke his silence for the first time after the scam surfaced, stating that the charges against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukul Roy will be confirmed during investigation.
Speaking to reporters, Mirza said, “I am not giving my character certificate, but all I can say is that if someone is not seen in the video accepting money that does not mean he didn’t take the money. I have told CBI everything I know and whether he (Mukul Roy) is involved or not will be clear during investigation.”
The Narada news sting videos, shot in 2014 and made public ahead of 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal sent ripples across the country. It showed senior Trinamool Congress leaders accepting bundles of cash from journalist Mathew Samules who posed as a representative of a fictitious company, Impex Infrastructure in return for favours.
Mirza - who was the police chief of Burdwan district when the incident took place in 2014 -- had allegedly delivered a "huge" sum in cash to Mukul Roy. The court, after hearing counsels representing both CBI and the IPS officer, remanded him to judicial custody till October 15.
On Sunday, Mirza was taken to the Kolkata apartment of Roy and asked to demonstrate how he handed over the money to Roy as claimed by him. “We are exploring all the claims/allegations. Things will be clear with progress in this case,” said CBI officer Ranjit Kumar. The “re-construction of crime” was recorded as well.
TMC has maintained that the sting operation was a conspiracy hatched against their government and party members before elections. “Who took money, who gave money, time will tell everything. We also have to see if CBI’s probe into Roy is just floor management or not,” said party secretary general, Partha Chatterjee.
Throughout the case, Roy, who was then one of the most influential TMC leaders, has claimed that he neither offered nor accepted any money and has accused Mamata Banerjee of maligning his image. Bengal BJP president, Dilip Ghosh backed Roy and said, “In the video it is clear that SMH Mirza is accepting money and not Roy. It is a conspiracy against him by the ruling party in the state.”
And while Roy was not seen accepting any cash in the purported videos, he was still heard telling the sting operative. The CBI investigation records into the case stated, “Based on Enquiry it was revealed that (beside others), Mukul Roy was shown (in tapes) to have assured to support the sting operators in his business proposals and asked him by gesture to come after April 24, 2014 with full amount of money (the amount is not specified in the conversation).”
“The sting operator was heard saying that he had brought 'five' and promised to bring 'ten' more on 24th. In another file (tape), he was shown to have told the sting operator that he had asked Shri SMH Mirza the then SP of Burdwan about the interest of his company. He was also shown to have told the sting operators to handover the money to SMH Mirza, which he had brought for him (Mukul Roy),” it added.