IPS OFFICER S M H Mirza, who was quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday in connection with the Narada sting case, reported said that he had accepted cash from Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel, but as “donation” to an orphanage. Sources said Mirza told ED officials that he took the cash from Samuel at his Burdwan residence when he was posted as the district SP. “He said he had accepted the cash as donation to an orphanage,” said an official. Sources, however, said ED officials are not convinced by Mirza’s revelation about accepting cash for donation, and he is likely to be interrogated again. Earlier, Mirza had admitted to accepting Rs 5 lakh as donation before CBI officials as well.
This was the first time Mirza was interrogated by ED. He was grilled for nearly five hours from 12.15 pm, sources said. Officials said Mirza was under pressure while responding to their questions as he looked frightened, worried and nervous. He was scared of revealing important information, they claimed.
“There are some discrepancies (in Mirza’s statements) and he may be called again for interrogation,” said an ED official.
Mirza, during the interrogation, revealed that he met Samuel through Tiger Mirza, the “middleman” who had allegedly introduced Samuel to the Trinamool Congress leaders who were caught accepting money in the sting video.
Mirza said he had met Samuel for the first time at a hotel in Kolkata.
Mirza was also asked about Trinamool MLA Iqbal Ahmed, who is currently admitted to a hospital after CBI interrogated him early this month in connection with the case. Ahmed had also confessed that they he had accepted cash from Samuel, but denied that it was a “bribe”.
IPS officer Mirza is one 13 accused named in the FIR filed by CBI in connection with the sting operation. Both CBI and ED are probing the case.