What is the meaning of `sting operation’?

Whenever we turn on the TV these days, we hear that some news channel has carried out a `sting operation’ on an unsuspecting politician. The word `sting’ has many different meanings. A well thought out scheme or plan used to trap criminals is called a sting. Using hidden cameras, news channels have succeeded in getting some of our not-so-beloved politicians to talk about how they use their official cars to carry drugs and how much they charge to raise question in Parliament.

*The CBI came up with a well-planned sting and managed to nab many of the drug peddlers.

The word `sting’ also means to `cheat’ or `swindle’ — something that our politicians excel in doing. Isn’t it only fair that after having cheated us, they get stung in return? You know what they say, what goes around, comes around!

Source: S. Upendran, The Hindu ‘Know Your English’ Series, February 27, 2006

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