Narada TMC sting : The Timeline of X files sting operation
Now that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory , Chandigarh has confirmed that the tapes of the sting operation by Narada News named ‘X’ files done by Editor in Chief Mathew Samuel are genuine and have not been tampered with , the heat will be surely on the TMC in the coming days . The Trinamool Congress leaders had all along alleged that the tapes were ‘doctored’ ever since the sting operation was released on March 14, 2016.
Here we take a quick look at the Time Line of Narada News and its X files :
- August 5, 2016 : Narada News Editor in chief Mathew Samuel’s stand requesting quashing of summons by Kolkata Police when the Calcutta High Court is already hearing the Narada News sting operation has been vindicated . Calcutta High court while hearing the Narada News sting operation named X files on several TMC leaders has put on hold the Kolkata Police from holding a parallel investigation till the next hearing. The next hearing of the case is August 19.
- July 8, 2016 : Citing the matter to be sub-judice, Narada News editor in chief Mathew Samuel has urged the Kolkata police to withdraw the summons issued against him in connection with the probe into a sting operation that caught several Trinamool Congress leaders taking bribe. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee had ordered the probe to find if there was a “conspiracy” behind the sting. The city police subsequently registered a case against Samuel and summoned him for personal appearance. “Since the matter is pending before the Calcutta High Court, I have yet again asked the Kolkata police to withdraw the summons,” said Samuel. This is the second time he has asked for withdrawing the summons after the police issued a fresh summons on July 1. He was summoned for the first time on June 23 following which he had made a similar request.
- March 14, 2016: Narada News releases video “X FILES: TMC Leaders Exposed By Narada News, Caught Accepting Bribes On Camera”. The video shows nearly all the top leaders of the TMC, including party vice president Mukul Roy, three Cabinet Ministers and six sitting MPs, accepting bribe that ranges from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh for favours to a fictitious company, Impex Consultancy. Opposition demanded resignation of the TMC chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, while TMC called the footage a “doctored video”.
- June 20, 2016: Ratna Chatterjee, wife of Kolkata Mayor and state environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, who was caught red-handed accepting bribe on camera, lodged an FIR against Mathew Samuel, the editor-in- chief of Narada News.
- May 19, 2016: Trinamool Congress under Mamata Banerjee won 211 seats to win the West Bengal elections . Her ministers included those who featured in the Narada Tapes : Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, Firhad Bobby Hakim
- April 29, 2016: The Calcutta High Court orders a forensic test on the Narada TV sting tapes.
- April 18, 2016: Narada News editor-in-chief Mathew Samuel submits the original footage and the device used to record Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders taking bribe in the X Files sting operation to a three-member committee constituted by Calcutta High Court.
- April 4 to May 5, 2016: The West Bengal Legislative Assembly election was held in six phases; 4 April for Phase 1 (a), 11 April for phase 1 (b), 17 April for Phase 2, 21 April for Phase 3, 25 April for Phase 4, 30 April for phase 5 and 5 May for Phase 6.
- March 16, 2016: Sumitra Mahajan, speaker of Lok Sabha referred the sting operation to the Ethics Committee for further investigation into the bribery allegations.
- March 21, 2016 : Narada News releases two more video clips, showing Trinamool Congress MP from Arambagh Aparupa Poddar accepting bribe and former TMC state general secretary Shankudeb Panda allegedly asking for a stake.
- April 9, 2016: Trinamool Congress announces it will conduct an internal probe into the sting operation done by Narada News.
- April 23, 2016: Trinamool Congress has asked the Election Commission to restrict the media from broadcasting any programme of Narada news editor-in-chief Mathew Samuel.
- May 4, 2016: Mathew Samuel, Editor-In-Chief of Narada News, hands over the Sting video footages to Forensic department. The equipment includes a Laptop, pendrive and the phone that he used to shoot the Narada sting operation videos.
- June 18, 2016 : Soon days after returning to power, West Bengal chief Minister Mamata Banerjee orders police probe on Narada sting operation led by police commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Rajeev Kumar was the police commissioner in charge of Sharada scam and was incidentally removed by the EC. Narada News Editor in chief Mathew Samuel had questioned the move by West Bengal Government ordering police probe as the Narada matter is sub-judice.
- June 28, 2016 : Mathew Samuel, the editor-in-chief of NaradaNews has requested Kolkata Police to withdraw the summons issued in connection with the West Bengal government’s probe into the Narada sting operation saying the matter is still sub-judice. He had sent his response by e- mail. Samuel while urging withdrawal of summons had this to say : “Kindly refer to your email dated 23rd June in regard with the instruction to appear before the assistant police commissioner. I have not yet received any physical copy of communication from you through post. Nor have I received any phone call from Kolkata police in this regard. I seek to ask how did you attempt to contact me? I humbly state that the matter is still pending in the Honorable High Court of Calcutta and I have submitted all documents, materials, original footage and all equipments used during the sting operation to the Honorable High court as per its directions.”
- July 14 , 2016 : Continuing its probe into Narada sting, Kolkata police recorded the statement of IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza after a four-hour-long interrogation at its Lalbazar headquarters in the city.
- August 6, 2016: Immigration department at the Indira Gandhi International Airport detained Narada News Editor in chief Mathew Samuel briefly as he landed in Delhi’s IGI Airport from Dubai following a lookout notice issued by the Kolkata Police. This act was a clear violation of Calcutta High Court order.
- August 9, 2016: The Central Forensic Science Laboratory , Chandigarh has confirmed that the tapes of the sting operation by Narada News named ‘X’ files done by Editor in Chief Mathew Samuel are genuine and have not been tampered with.