Narada News CEO welcomes high court order on CBI probe

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Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel on Friday welcomed a Calcutta High Court order to hand over the Narada sting footage case to the CBI for a preliminary inquiry to be completed within 72 hours.

“It is welcoming and very fair decision by the Calcutta High Court,” said Samuel.

His company’s portal uploaded a string of video footage last year showing a number of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool leaders — including ministers, MPs and MLAs — allegedly accepting wads of currency notes in return for favours to a fictitious company.

The footage became a big issue during the 2016 West Bengal assembly polls, but the Trinamool Congress managed to retain power despite a vigorous anti-corruption campaign by the opposition.

Soon after, in June, Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee ordered a probe headed by the city Police Commissioner to find out the “conspiracy” angle to the sting.

Police booked Samuel, who had conducted the sting, on several charges and issued him summons for personal appearance.

However, in August, the Calcutta High Court ordered an interim stay on the police probe while hearing petitions seeking an inquiry by an independent agency.

Last month, police searched Samuel’s Delhi residence and office in connection with a ransom call received by a Bihar MP. The police said they had found a laptop, containing video footage of a man who purportedly resembled Samuel.

On Friday, the Narada New CEO alleged that state machinery was “misued” to try to nail him. “What wrong did I do? I have suffered, of late,” he said.

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