West Bengal: CBI gets 10-day custody of TMC leader Anubrata Mandal in the cattle smuggling scam

Mandal was arrested earlier today after he twice skipping his scheduled appearance before the central probe agency in three days

Aritra SinghaUpdated: Thursday, August 11, 2022, 08:14 PM IST
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Anubrata Mandal | Photo: IANS

Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested Trinamool Congress (TMC) Birbhum district president Anubrata Mandal, popularly known as Keshtoda, in connection with a cattle smuggling scam.

After being produced at special CBI court in Asansol, the court has ordered police custody for Mandal till August 20.

According to CBI sources, they have several proofs that Mandal is connected with the cattle smuggling scam for which they had pleaded for full-term CBI custody. On the other hand, Mandal's lawyer didn’t appeal for bail.

Earlier this day, more than 100 CISF jawans surrounded Mandal’s residence in Bolpur in Birbhum district and after quizzing him for over an hour CBI arrested him and took him to an Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL) guest house at Shitalpur where he was quizzed.

The doors and windows of his residence were locked from inside while the sleuths interrogated him as he is considered to be a ‘strongman’ of Birbhum.

Doctors of ECL were also present during the quizzing as Mandal complained of chest pain and an ambulance was also kept ready in case of any emergency. After a health checkup, he was produced before the court.

It may be noted that he had skipped CBI summons ten times and on Wednesday, doctor Chandranath Adhikari who had treated Mandal claimed that he was ‘pressurized’ to write ‘bed rest’ to the TMC Birbhum district president.

No sooner was Mandal was taken out from his house than crowd gathered outside his residence and were chanting ‘Chor, Chor’ while he was being taken away.

BJP distributed sweets and played drums across the state and took out rallies ‘celebrating’ his arrest.

The BJP and CPI (M) amidst chanting ‘Anubrata Chor Hain’ (Anubrata is a thief) showed him shoes outside the CBI court in Asansol.

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said that from a fish seller Mandal became a millionaire due to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“Due to Mamata Banerjee’s blessing, from a fish seller to a millionaire, Anubrata is nothing but a mafia,” claimed Adhikari.

TMC minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said that her party has ‘zero tolerance towards corruption.

“Mamata Banerjee and the TMC national secretary Abhishek Banerjee had mentioned zero tolerance towards corruption. But it is to be noted that CBI and ED do bias probes and work at the behest of BJP. Students and youth wing of TMC will agitate across the state on Friday and Saturday demanding an impartial probe by the central agencies,” said Chandrima.

It may be recalled that last week CBI had filed a supplementary chargesheet in connection with the cattle smuggling scam where they have mentioned arrested Mandal security personnel Saigal Hussain, Abdul Latif, and Bikash Mishra.

“We have found a connection between Mandal and the scam kingpin Enamul Haque. We are also probing the property of Mandal’s security personnel. From call records along with other evidence, all hint towards the connection of Mandal for which probing is necessary,” said CBI sources.

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