Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

KOLKATA: Following the arrest of TMC strongman Anubrata Mondal in connection with the cattle smuggling case by the CBI, the main opposition party in West Bengal – BJP has said that a “devil” like him deserves to be in jail and should not be set free again.



Stepping up the attack on Mamata Banerjee’s government, BJP MP Dilip Ghosh alleged that Anubrata Mondal had “ruined many lives” and “tortured people” in Birbhum. Ghosh even called on the CBI to be equally “cruel” to him.



“Despite being just a local leader of Birbhum, the district administration was controlled by a person like Anubrata who is involved in post-poll violence should never be set free,” he asserted.

Training his guns on TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Ghosh said, “We have seen how the TMC government tried to save IPS-Rajib Kumar, a police officer dear to TMC and accused in Sarada chit-fund scam. We might see such things in future with Mamata govt taking action against CBI.”



Anubrata Mondal is the second TMC leader arrested in recent weeks, after former Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee’s arrest by the ED in the SSC scam. Connecting the dots, BJP IT Cell in-charge Amit Malviya charged that Mamata Banerjee “patronises criminals”.  Malviya alleged that Mamata gives state protection to those who operate crime and extortion syndicates under her watch.

“Mamata Banerjee patronises criminals like Anubroto Mondal. As Chief Minister and Home Minister of West Bengal, she gives state protection to those who operate crime and extortion syndicates under her watch. Partha Chatterjee or Anubroto Mondal, the buck stops at Mamata Banerjee,” Malviya said quoting his old tweet.

In a fresh jolt to Trinamool Congress, the CBI arrested Anubrata Mondal 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.

Mondal whose political career was marked by controversies skipped his scheduled appearance before the central probe agency on Monday and Wednesday, citing ill health.

“We have arrested him for non-cooperation in the investigation into the cattle smuggling case. We have found Mr Mondal’s direct involvement in the scam,” a CBI official said.

The agency has summoned Mondal 10 times earlier, but he had appeared before them only once earlier this year. The official said the CBI would also question the doctor of a Bolpur hospital who had prescribed Mondal bed rest for 14 days.

The TMC’s stand on the issue of Mondal was in sharp contrast to that of another party heavyweight Partha Chatterjee who was arrested on July 23 by the Enforcement Directorate in the school jobs scam. The ED found crores of rupees in cash in flats owned by a woman considered close to him.

Chatterjee was stripped of his cabinet portfolios and party posts within five days of his arrest. The TMC did not hit the streets against central agencies following his arrest. 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? senior leader and minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said.

Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty alleged that Mondal considered himself above the law in the Birbhum district, and the TMC leadership “turned a blind eye to his misdeeds.”

The Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that the day is not far away when the central probe agency would reach the top echelons of the party in the graft case.

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