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Kolkata/New Delhi: The CBI on Monday arrested TMC leaders Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Madan Mitra as well as former party leader Sovan Chatterjee in Kolkata in connection with the Narada sting case in which politicians were purportedly caught taking money on camera, officials said.

The action comes as the central probe agency is likely to file its charge sheet in the sting tapes case, they said.

The four leaders went to the CBI office in Nizam Palace in Kolkata on Monday morning.

Soon after the news of their arrest spread, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with other leaders reached the CBI office.


The CBI had approached West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar seeking sanction to prosecute Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee, who were all ministers during the time of the alleged commission of the offence in 2014, they said.

Dhankar had recently granted sanction to prosecute all the four leaders following which the CBI finalised its charge sheet and moved to arrest them.

Hakim, Mukherjee and Mitra have been re-elected as TMC MLAs in the just-concluded assembly elections, while Chatterjee, who left the TMC to join the BJP, has severed links with both the camps.

The sting operation was purportedly conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada TV news channel in 2014 wherein people resembling TMC ministers, MPs and MLAs were allegedly seen receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company in lieu of favours.

The tapes were made public just before the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal.

The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March, 2017.

Mamata starts dharna at CBI's Kolkata office

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has started a sit-in in CBI's Kolkata office to protest the arrest of four of her Trinamool Congress leaders, provoking an unusual Centre-state confrontation of sorts.

Banerjee rushed to the 15th floor of the 'Nizam Palace' where the CBI has the office of its anti-corruption cell.

Her spokesperson, lawyer Anindyo Raut told waiting media persons: "Didi (Banerjee) will not leave this CBI office until her party colleagues are released or until she is also arrested."

He said Mamata Banerjee told the CBI officers they have arrested the four leaders, among them two sitting and two former ministers, without the mandatory notice. "These arrests are politically motivated and illegal. Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy have been let off though they faced the same charges," Raut quoted Mamata Banerjee as saying.

Central forces guarding the CBI office were not letting media persons inside the office -- so speaking to CM Banerjee was not possible.

But she sent out Raut to let journalists "know her viewpoint".

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