IPS officer SMH Mirza was taken into custody on Thursday (September 26) with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) making its first arrest in the 2016 Narada sting operation case.
Mirza was produced before a special CBI court in Kolkata on Thursday after a medical check-up, said an official belonging to the agency. The IPS officer was the Superintendent of Police in Burdwan district when the sting operation was conducted by the Narada news portal’s Mathew Samuels, reported news agency PTI.
The CBI official added that Mirza was earlier questioned on several occasions and was arrested on Thursday after another round of grilling. “He is one of the key links in the Narada tapes scandal,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Both BJP and Left leaders in the state welcomed the arrest of Mirza. “Though delayed it is a welcome step. People will now want to know who would be held next,” BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
The Narada sting operation footage had surfaced about a fortnight ahead of the West Bengal elections in 2016. It showed persons resembling the police officer and several leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress accepting bribe from representatives of a fictitious company in return for favours. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged that the operation was a result of a political conspiracy.
(With inputs from agencies)