September 28, 2019 9:49:55 am
Citing “preoccupations”, BJP leader Mukul Roy did not appear before the CBI on Friday in connection with the Narada sting operation case. Sources said Roy sent one of his representatives to convey the message and sought time from the agency. However, the CBI sent another notice asking Roy to appear on Saturday, sources added.
According to sources, CBI officials wanted to speak to Roy before the five-day custody of IPS officer S M H Mirza, who was arrested on Thursday, ends on September 30.
“I could not appear before the agency today because of my preoccupations, which I have informed them in writing. I will be busy till 3 pm tomorrow due to party work, but if they ask me to visit them after that, I will go. I have always said I will cooperate with the CBI,” said the former railway minister.
Trinamool Congress has accused the central agency of being “unfair and politically motivated”.
“Issuing summons to him (Mukul Roy) does not prove anything,” said TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee. “Time will prove if they are fair in their job or it is just a gimmick,” he said.
The CBI made its first arrest — Mirza — in the Narada sting case on Thursday since the tapes surfaced before the 2016 Assembly polls. In the footage, people resembling senior Trinamool Congress leaders were seen accepting money from representatives of a fictitious company. The sting operation was conducted by Mathew Samuels of the Narada News portal.
Roy, a founder member of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, had joined the BJP in 2017. It has been alleged that Roy had sent Samuel to Mirza, who was the then Burdwan Superintendent of Police. Mirza is also heard talking to someone on the phone in the tapes, but has not revealed who was on the other side of the phone.
Roy has claimed that none of the footage showed him taking money. “Neither did I take any money, nor was I offered… I asked the person, who came to me posing as a businessman, to meet Mirza in connection with getting land for his business,” he said. “It helps if you know the SP,” Roy had said.
The CBI is currently conducting voice sample tests of several people seen in the Narada tapes. The probe agency had registered FIR against 12 TMC leaders, including MPs and ministers in the Bengal government, as well as Mirza.
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