Cattle smuggling case: CBI arrests Mamata Banerjee's aide Anubrata Mondal
More trouble is brewing up for Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's close aide and the party's Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal in a 2020 livestock smuggling case. According to India Today, Mondal was arrested on Thursday morning from his home in Birbhum district.
- Mondal's arrest comes days after TMC leader Partha Chatterjee was arrested in the teacher job scam.
- Mondal is the latest in a long line of opposition leaders apprehended by any central agency.
- Earlier, Chatterjee's detention was condemned by the TMC as a "ploy" by the BJP-led central government to "harass" political opponents. The BJP, however, denied the allegations.
The CBI agents arrived at Mondal's Bolpur house in Birbhum district on Thursday morning. As they approached the city, they were escorted by a convoy of 30 cars. The CBI personnel first detained the TMC leader and questioned him for nearly two hours before arresting him. According to authorities, Mondal will shortly receive a medical test before being produced in court.
His name surfaced in the livestock smuggling case after the CBI filed an FIR in 2020. The central investigation agency called Mondal ten times after interrogating him twice, but he did not show, citing health concerns. The arrest was carried out after the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata determined that he did not need to be admitted.
According to the CBI, nearly 20,000 cattle heads were captured by the Border Security Force while they were being smuggled across the border between 2015 and 2017. In connection with the cattle smuggling case, the CBI has recently conducted searches in numerous sites around the area. The agency has also detained Mondal's bodyguard, Saigal Hossain.