Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel was Saturday released after being briefly detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport when he arrived from Dubai following a lookout notice issued against him by the Kolkata police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI) D K Gupta said Samuel was detained by immigration department officials. He was released late in the night.
Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Vishal Garg said, “Samuel was initially detained at the Delhi airport but was later released after being asked a few questions by the immigration personnel.”
A division bench of Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A Banerjee had a day ago ordered an interim stay into the Narada sting operation probe launched by the Kolkata Police till the next date of hearing on August 19. The lookout notice had been issued before the HC order.
Affirming they would go by the HC directive, Garg said, “We respect the order of the high court and will abide by the same.”
Meanwhile high drama ensued after the news of the detention spread, as Samuel’s counsel Samim Ahhamed shot off a letter to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar which said, “Hon’ble High Court put a stay on parallel investigation initiated by the Kolkata Police. In spite thereof, as per your instruction, the immigration authority at Delhi has detained my client in violation of high court order…”
In the letter the counsel also alleged that the Kolkata Police has already committed contempt of court and said, “You are requested to take immediate steps to release my client from police custody.”
Earlier minutes after Samuel’s detention, Kolkata Police was asked to approach the immigration authorities in Delhi with relevant documents about the case before he could be handed over to them, official sources said.
Kolkata police had filed a case against Samuel on a complaint by city Mayor and Fire and Emergency Services Minister Sovan Chattopadhyay’s wife.
Chattopadhyay was purportedly seen accepting money in a sting operation video released by Narada News. Several TMC leaders and an IPS officer were also purportedly seen accepting money in the video, which surfaced ahead of assembly polls.
Samuel was booked under IPC Sections 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 500 (defamation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 171(G) (false statement in connection with an election) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy).
Detention desperate bid to cover up Narada sting: Opp
Opposition Left and Congress Saturday night slammed the brief detention of Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel at Delhi airport as a desperate attempt to hush up the Narada sting operation and save the culprits.
“The desperate attempt to detain Mathew Samuel by Kolkata Police is a manifestation to hush up the Narada graft and save the real accused,” CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said.
Echoing Mishra, Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan too criticised the detention of Samuel on his arrival from Dubai and said it only shows the desperation of the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal to hush up the matter at any cost.
(With PTI Inputs)