A sessions court granted bail to West Bengal ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra, and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chattopadhyay, who were arrested by the CBI in the Narada bribery case. Through a virtual hearing from Nizam Palace, the arrested leaders were brought before Bankshall Court.
Earlier in the day, shortly after the arrests, hundreds of TMC activists staged protest rallies in Kolkata and across West Bengal, defying lockdown orders.
Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal Chief Minister, and other Trinamool Congress leaders rushed to the CBI office. Banerjee “ordered our officers that if they want her to leave Nizam Palace, they have to arrest her,” sources in the central probe agency told PTI. Banerjee’s conduct, according to the sources, are akin to interfering with the investigation handed over to the agency by the Calcutta High Court. When she got out of the house, place in the evening, Banerjee told reporters, “Court will give the decision.”
TMC supporters broke down barriers set up in front of the CBI’s Nizam Palace office and began shouting slogans against Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also hurled bricks and bottles at the security forces stationed in front of the office.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, who is also the party’s youth wing president, urged the demonstrators to have faith in the judiciary. “For the sake of Bengal’s and its people’s larger interests, I urge everyone to follow the law and refrain from any action that violates lockdown norms. “We have complete confidence in the judiciary, and the fight will be fought in a legal manner,” said Diamond Harbour MP and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew.
“2 WB senior Ministers detained in CBI dawn raid w/ major CAPF contingent,” TMC MP Mahua Moitra tweeted. It’s completely against the law. Speaker of the WB Assembly has given no approval. “Giving sanction on May 9 when the cabinet was only sworn in on May 10 is NOT sufficient authority!” says the governor.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar said there was “real lawlessness & anarchy” in the state in a series of tweets. “Message @MamataOfficial,” he tweeted. Anarchy and total lawlessness. Silence from the police and the government. I hope you understand the consequences of such lawlessness and constitutional failure. It’s time to pause and consider how to deal with this rapidly escalating situation.