Narada sting case: Arrested Bengal Minister, TMC MLA, former party leader admitted to Kolkata hospital

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(Eds: Changing Intro, adding details) Kolkata, May 18 (PTI) West Bengal minister Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and former party leader Sovan Chatterjee, who were arrested by the CBI in the Narada sting case, were admitted to a hospital here on Tuesday after medical complaints, officials said.

Another TMC minister Firhad Hakim, who was also apprehended by the central agency in the case, was shifted to a health facility in Presidency Correctional Home after he developed fever in the morning, they said.

Mitra, who is in a post-Covid recovery stage and has several comorbidities like severe diabetes, while Chatterjee, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, besides diabetes, were admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital early on Tuesday as both the politicians developed breathing problems.

Mukherjee was initially taken to the hospital early this morning and brought back to the correctional home after completion of check-up as he did not wish to be admitted there, an official of the medical facility said.

The 76-year-old minister was again taken to the hospital later in the day and admitted to the facility as he too developed breathing problems.

'Chatterjee and Mitra complained of breathlessness at around 3 am, following which they were brought to the hospital. Both have been kept on oxygen support at the Woodburn Block of the SSKM Hospital. They are stable now,' the official of the state-run facility told PTI.

Chest X-Rays were conducted on Mitra and Chatterjee while Mukherjee, who is also in the same block, is on nebuliser, he said adding that RT-PCR tests were also conducted on them to ascertain Covid-19 infection.

Following admission of the leaders, the hospital authorities formed a medical board to supervise their health conditions.

'The board comprises senior doctors of the medicine and chest department. They will be keeping a tab on the leaders 24X7,' he said.

Following their admission to the hospital, a posse of Kolkata Police personnel has been deployed there.

Family members of the three arrested political leaders went to the hospital to meet them.

The four were apprehended on Monday morning.

The Calcutta High Court had stayed a special CBI court's decision to grant bail to the four who were arrested and charge-sheeted by the agency in the Narada sting tape case.

A division bench said it deemed it appropriate to stay the special court's order and directed that the accused persons shall be 'treated to be in judicial custody till further orders'.

The sting operation was conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada News, a web portal, in 2014 wherein some people resembling TMC ministers, MPs and MLAs were 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. PTI SCH BDC JRC JRC