Trinamool Congress strongman and Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Bahubali’ Anubrata Mondal has been sent to 10-day CBI custody in the cattle smuggling case
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal has been sent to 10-day CBI custody in the cattle smuggling case. He was arrested by the probe agency on Thursday morning from his Bolpur residence. Anger in people was palpable as they showed the TMC’s Birbhum district president shoes and shouted slogan of ‘chor, chor‘ when he was produced before a special CBI court in Asansol.
The special CBI court judge remanded Mondal in CBI custody till 20 August on a prayer by the investigating agency.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that it has arrested an accused in a case related to alleged illegal cross-border trade of cattle. The said accused was consistently avoiding summons since long and not cooperating with the investigation into the case.
«It was also alleged that the accused persons were organizing and patronizing large-scale illegal cattle smuggling to neighbouring countries and collecting huge money from other persons,» CBI said.
The CBI served a notice to Mondal under Section 41 of CrPC before arresting him for allegedly not cooperating in its probe into the scam.
Earlier on Thursday, a CBI team comprising at least eight officers along with personnel of central forces reached Mondal’s residence around 10 am, and conducted a search operation, as part of the investigation.
The Trinamool’s Birbhum district president was grilled in a room on the second floor of his residence for almost an hour, official said.
Mondal had skipped his scheduled appearance on Monday and Wednesday, citing ill-health.
A loyalist of party supremo Mamata Banerjee rose to prominence in the 11 years of the TMC regime in Bengal, mostly for his audacious statements and browbeating.
The ruling TMC said the party was keeping a close watch on the situation. «The party will take an appropriate decision at the right time. But, we want to make it clear that TMC will not compromise on any instance of corruption,» MP Santanu Sen said.
The top Trinamool Congress leadership will likely meet today evening to take a call on the issue.
Opposition BJP alleged that Mondal’s arrest proves the ruling party was neck-deep in corruption, and demanded a statement from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
«It is time the CM comes out with a statement on the arrest of Mondal. We all know he was close to the top TMC leadership,» BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said.
«The arrest of Chatterjee and now Mondal is an example of the much-hyped Bengal development model, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari praised the probe agency and called the Birbhum TMC president a ‘Mafia created by Mamata Banerjee’.
«CBI has done the right thing that they have arrested him. He was small person, how did he get Rs 1,000 crore property? That has to be seen. It has to be ascertained under whose direction coal and cattle smuggling takes place. He is the creation of Mamata Banerjee,» Adhikari said.
«Anubrata is a MAFIA. Mamata Banerjee created him,» he claimed.
CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty claimed that Mondal considered himself above the law in Birbhum district and the TMC leadership turned a blind eye to his misdeeds.
With inputs from agencies