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Narada tapes: CBI confronts Mukul Roy with arrested IPS officer

Narada tapes: CBI confronts Mukul Roy with arrested IPS officer

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy was grilled by CBI officials in Kolkata in connection with the Narada tapes corruption scandal for over two hours on Saturday afternoon. Sources said that he was also confronted with suspended IPS officer SMH Meerza, who is now in the agency's custody since Thursday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested Meerza a few days ago, the first arrest in the case, and on the same day issued a summons to Roy, asking him to appear before agency officials on Friday.

However, the senior BJP leader had cited personal "preoccupations" and sought for a later date, after which he was asked to appear for questioning on Saturday afternoon at the Nizam Palace offices of the agency.

CBI officials first questioned Roy separately, after which sources said he was confronted with Meerza in connection with the allegation that Roy had instructed the IPS officer to accept the cash on his behalf. The sources added that the agency is not yet done with Roy and that he has been called to appear before the agency on Sunday as well when the confrontation with Meerza might continue.

While exiting the CBI offices in Nizam Palace, Roy spoke to reporters and said that he is willing to fully cooperate with the agency as "he has nothing to do with the Narada case".

However, according to the CBI's initial probe, the leaked tapes had shown Samuel telling Roy that he had brought "five" for him and would bring "ten" later, to which Roy purportedly said that he would not be accepting the money himself.

In another video file, the CBI has been able to verify Roy instructing Mathew Samuel, the sting operator, to hand over the cash meant for him to SMH Meerza, to whom "he had already spoken". Meerza is then in a separate video clip shown to have accepted a wad of Rs 5 lakh in cash from the sting operator.

According to officials, Meerza was arrested when, after several rounds of questioning, he was unable to explain the footage that showed him accepting Rs 5 lakh from Samuel.

Curiously, Roy also told reporters that this fresh scrutiny against him was likely orchestrated by Mamata Banerjee, the chief of the ruling TMC in West Bengal.

But the BJP leader has been comfortably able to avoid such scrutiny in the case since he joined the saffron party within four months of the FIR being registered against him. In fact, he told reporters on Friday, "I am not apprehending any coercive action against me by the CBI."

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