In a fresh jolt to Trinamool Congress (TMC, party strongman Anubrata Mondal was arrested by CBI in a cattle smuggling case on Thursday, three weeks after Enforcement Directorate picked up another heavyweight leader Partha Chatterjee in the school recruitment scam.
Mondal, who was arrested from his residence in Bolpur in Birbhum district after an hour-long interrogation, was sent to CBI custody till August 20 by a special CBI court.
The ruling party of West Bengal decided to hit the streets for two consecutive days against the vendetta politics allegedly being pursued by the BJP-led central government by using its agencies. Opposition BJP alleged that Mondal’s arrest proves that TMC is neck-deep in corruption and demanded a statement from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on this.
Here are the updates on Anubarata Mondal’s arrest in cattle smuggling case:
• The CBI has reportedly summoned two doctors – the first one being Chandra Adhikari, attached to Bolpur Sub-Division Hospital, who reportedly went to the residence of Mondal a day before the latter’s arrest on Thursday morning and issued the 14-day bed rest advice on white paper. The CBI sleuths will question him about the details of the circumstances under which he issued that on paper medical advice, which violates all medical ethics.
The second doctor to be questioned is Dr Buddhadeb Murmu, the superintendent of Bolpur Sub-Division Hospital, who, as claimed by Adhikari, directed the latter to visit Mondal’s residence and issue the bed rest advice in white paper.
• BJP workers distribute sweets to celebrate Anubrata Mondal’s arrest.
West Bengal | BJP workers distributed sweets among people and celebrated yesterday in Birbhum, following the arrest of TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal in cattle smuggling case.
He has been sent to a 10-day CBI in connection with the matter. pic.twitter.com/jbGLKNGFf4
— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2022
• Senior leader and minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, “We have serious doubts about the functioning of the central agencies. We have seen that they are silent when it comes to taking action against BJP leaders against whom there are allegations of corruption.” She said that for the next two days, protest rallies will be taken out in various parts of the state against the functioning of the central agencies.
• In a sign of support for Mondal, the Mamata Banerjee-led party said no action will be taken against him now. “The party doesn’t support any form of corruption or wrongdoing. We have zero tolerance for corruption. The party will take the appropriate decision (on Mondal) at the right time. An allegation against someone doesn’t prove him guilty,” Bhattacharya said.
• Mondal was grilled in a room on the second floor of his residence, the official said. He said the CBI would also question the doctor of a Bolpur hospital who had prescribed Mondal bed rest for 14 days.
• The agency has summoned Mondal 10 times earlier, but he had appeared before them only once earlier this year.
• “We have arrested him for non-cooperation in the investigation into the cattle smuggling scam. We have found Mr Mondal’s direct involvement in the scam. We will question him today and take necessary action as per law,” the official told PTI. The CBI served a notice to the TMC leader under Section 41 of CrPC before arresting him, he said.
• Mondal had twice skipped his scheduled appearance before the central probe agency in the last few days, citing ill-health. Earlier in the day, 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 probe.
• Sleuths of the probe agency are conducting raids at residences of several close associates of the TMC leader as well, the official added. Mondal has been questioned twice by the CBI, which in the recent past conducted raids at various locations in the district in connection with the case.
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