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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

CBI begins to quiz Anubrata Mondal at Nizam Palace in cross-border cattle trade scam


Arrested Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal was brought into this city at midnight last night, hours after a special court at Asansol, West Bardhaman, ordered a 10-day CBI custody of the strongman of Birbhum district in West Bengal, official sources said on Friday.

Sources said the CBI officials would begin questioning him regarding his alleged involvement in the cattle trade and sources of amassing the assets, both movable and immovable and his link to other alleged trading.

Mondal has been also accused of coal smuggling and post-poll violence in Bengal, which are also being probed by the CBI.

All the cases are under the scanner of the Calcutta High court.

Sixty-two-year-old Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, who wielded huge power and influence in the districts of South Bengal, was picked up from his Nichupatty house around 10 am on Thursday, exactly he skipped the 10th CBI summon in alleged his involvement in cross border trade of cattle heads, the CBI sources said.

The CBI sleuths in association with armed central forces had virtually seized Mondal’s Nichupatty bungalow ( Birbhum) in midnight of Wednesday and entered his house on Thursday morning.

After about two hours of questioning him the CBI picked Mondal up into a car for alleged non-cooperation and took him to the CBI court at Asansol in the afternoon.

The federal agency, probing the illegal cross-border cattle trade following a Calcutta high order, had summoned Mondal on Monday and Wednesday and on both occasion he skipped.

He came on Monday to this city and went to the state government-owned SSKM hospital for a check-up but did not go to CBI’s Nizam Palace office, 1000 meters from the hospital in south Kolkata.

” CBI had registered the case on 21.09.2020 against 04 accused including then Commandant, BSF; ( Satish Kumar) three private persons and unknown public servants/private persons on the allegations of illegal cross-border trade of cattle,” a CBI statement said.

” Searches were earlier conducted at various locations across the country at the premises of the accused. Several accused were also arrested during investigation. It was further alleged that the accused assisted and showed fictitious business activities to regularise the ill-gotten money,” the statement about Mondal maintained.

” The said accused ( Mondal ) was consistently avoiding the CBI’s summons for a long time and not cooperating with the CBI investigation into the case,” it added.

” During the investigation, the illegal cross-border selling of cattle, the related movement, delivery and use of ill-gotten money, was found. It was also alleged that the accused persons were organizing and

patronizing large-scale illegal cattle smuggling to a neighbouring country and collecting huge money from other persons. It was also revealed that the accused procured a huge number of cattle from Illambazar Pashuhat and ensured safe passage for transportation of cattle to the international border.”

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