The CBI on Monday stepped up its probe in the Narada sting video by detaining senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and Ministers at its Kolkata office.
Ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee and party MLA Madan Mitra and former Minister Sovan Chatterjee were brought to the CBI headquarters at Nizam Palace.
The CBI is likely to file a charge sheet in the Narada case during the day.
"I am being arrested by CBI in the Narada case. We will fight it out in court," Mr. Hakim told journalists while being taken to Nizam Palace.
Protests erupted outside the Minister's house in Chetla when the CBI personnel escorted him to Nijam Palace. TMC supporters gathered outside the CBI office.
All the four who were brought to the CBI office were Ministers in the TMC government in 2016 when the Narada tapes were made public .
A few days ago, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar gave his nod to prosecute Ministers accused in the case.
The Calcutta High Court in March 2016 directed a CBI probe in the case. Several Ministers and TMC functionaries were seen accepting cash in camera in the purported videos. Among the four leaders, two (Mr. Hakim and Mr. Chatterjee) are TMC Ministers and Mr. Mitra is a TMC MLA. A former Kolkata Mayor, Mr. Chatterjee had joined the BJP a few years ago but quit the party before the 2021 Assembly polls.
The Narada sting videos had purportedly showed a dozen TMC leaders accepting cash on camera, including Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy, who are with the BJP.
The CBI's Anti-Corruption Branch registered the case on April 16, 2017, on the directions of the Calcutta High Court.
On completion of the probe, the agency had sought prosecution sanction against the accused.
The West Bengal Governor accorded prosecution sanction on May 7 against Mr. Hakim, as he allegedly agreed to accept a bribe of ₹5 lakh; Mr. Mukherjee, as he allegedly agreed to accept a bribe of ₹5 lakh; Mr. Mitra, who had also allegedly agreed to receive ₹5 lakh; and Mr. Chatterjee, as he was seen having agreed to accept a bribe of ₹4 lakh.
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