Anubrata Mondal, the leader of the Trinamool Congress, was detained by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with a cattle smuggling case after he failed to show up twice in a span of three days for interrogation.
His name surfaced in the case in 2020 after the CBI submitted an FIR. Between 2015 and 2017, the Border security force intercepted almost 20,000 cow heads that were being trafficked across the border, according to the CBI.
With this arrest, federal authorities have now detained two well-known TMC leaders in West Bengal. Partha Chatterjee, a minister for Bengal, has already been detained by the ED in connection with a multi-million-dollar teacher recruitment programme fraud.
According to a senior officer, Mondal wrote to the CBI on Wednesday to explain why he could not appear before their investigators in connection with a livestock smuggling case, citing “illness.”
The 60-year-old TMC Birbhum district president requested two weeks from the investigators in order to meet before them at the agency’s city headquarters. He also sent copies of two prescriptions in his letter. On Wednesday morning, Mondal’s attorney left the letter to the municipal office of the central agency.
“We have received a communication from Mr. Mondal in which he informed us about his inability to appear before our officers at our office here today. In the letter, Mr. Mondal has written that he is on total bed rest as per the advice of the doctors and cannot move outside his residence. He has attached two copies of doctors’ prescriptions and requested us to give him two weeks’ time to come to our office,” the CBI officer had told PTI.
The physicians from the city’s SSKM Hospital and Bolpur Hospital wrote the prescriptions that Mondal filed.
A day after the TMC leader failed to show up for an appointment with CBI officers, the agency on Tuesday issued a summon for Mondal to appear at its city office for interrogation in relation to their inquiry. Mondal paid a visit to the city on Monday, but he went to the SSKM Hospital for a checkup rather than the CBI headquarters.
The state-run medical facility’s doctors had told him to return in two months because he was only experiencing a few chronic ailments. The TMC leader then immediately departed for his Bolpur home.
The central agency has so far interrogated him twice, and recently it has also conducted raids at several sites in the district related to the matter. Saigal Hossain, Mondal’s bodyguard, was also taken into custody by the investigation team.
The CBI has repeatedly requested that the TMC leader appear before it in connection with its investigation into the cattle fraud. The leader of the TMC frequently made news for its impromptu statements on a variety of topics. Mondal has previously evaded summonses by claiming to be unwell.