For the second time in the past three days, Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal on Wednesday skipped summons by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a cross-border cattle smuggling case.
Citing illness, Mr. Mondal wrote to the CBI about his inability to appear before the agency and sought more time. Lawyers representing the Trinamool leader came to the CBI office and submitted a communication of the Trinamool Birbhum district president to the agency.
So far, the CBI has summoned Mr. Mondal 10 times in connection with the case and he has skipped summons nine times. Mr. Mondal appeared before the agency on May 19 but the questioning could not be completed as he complained of chest pain and needed medical attention. On Monday, the last time the agency had asked Mr. Mondal to appear before it, he went to the SSKM Hospital, but the State-run health facility denied him admission.
Meanwhile, doctors from the State-run health facility at Birbhum reached the Trinamool leader’s residence and advised him rest. A controversy has arisen over doctors visiting the residence of Mr. Mondal, who does not hold any administrative post in the West Bengal government. On Wednesday, a doctor told mediapersons that he was directed by his superior to visit Mr. Mondal’s residence.
The case relates to the smuggling of cattle through the India-Bangladesh border through cattle markets in Birbhum. The CBI has filed chargesheets in the case, the last being on Monday (August 8, 2022). In the chargesheet, Mr. Mondal’s security officer Saigal Hossain has been named as accused. Mr. Hossain has been arrested in the case and remains behind bars. The other accused named in the chargesheets include a former BSF commandant Satish Kumar, former Trinamool leader Binya Mishra, and Abdul Lateef, owner of a cattle haat in Birbhum.
The summons to the Trinamool leader comes close on the heels of the arrest of former party heavyweight Partha Chatterjeee in the School Service Commission recruitment scam. Mr. Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee, from whose house ₹50 crore was recovered, are behind bars since July 23.