Hours after the arrest of West Bengal ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC legislator Madan Mitra and former minister Sovan Chatterjee in connection with Narada sting operation case, hundreds of TMC supporters gathered outside the CBI office to protest.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also reached the CBI office. "The way they have been arrested without due procedure, CBI will have to arrest me also," the Bengal Chief Minister reportedly said.
All four were ministers in the previous Mamata Banerjee government when the Narada bribery tapes were shot in 2014. Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee were sworn in by the Governor as members of the new Mamata Banerjee cabinet after she won a third straight term.
The supporters of the ruling party, waving TMC flags, raised slogans against the CBI and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
A large posse of CRPF personnel barricaded the central government office complex in Nizam Palace, where the CBI office is located.
Kolkata Police personnel were also present there in large numbers.
Bengal ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC legislator Madan Mitra and former minister Sovan Chatterjee were arrested by the central agency in connection with the Narada sting case in which politicians were purportedly caught taking money on a camera, officials said.
The action comes as the central probe agency is likely to file its charge sheet in the case, they said.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had recently granted sanction to prosecute all the four leaders, following which the CBI finalised its charge sheet and moved to arrest them.
Family members of the arrested leaders, including the daughter of Hakim, son of Mitra, and Chatterjee's wife also went to the CBI office.
The sting operation was purportedly conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada TV news channel in 2014 wherein some 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.
With PTI inputs