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Cattle-smuggling: Anubrata Mondal taken to Delhi by Enforcement Directorate

Glare on discussions during breakfast at Shaktigarh near Burdwan town

Abhijeet Chatterjee Durgapur Published 08.03.23, 02:54 AM
Anubrata Mondal at the ESI hospital in Joka near Calcutta on Tuesday.

Anubrata Mondal at the ESI hospital in Joka near Calcutta on Tuesday. Pradip Sanyal

The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday took Trinamul Congress leader Anubrata Mondal to New Delhi for interrogation in the cattle-smuggling case.

Mondal’s journey to Delhi came at the end of a series of legal battles in which the Trinamul leader had unsuccessfully challenged the ED’s decision to take him to the national capital for interrogation.


According to a Calcutta High Court order, Mondal was brought to the ESI hospital in Joka, on the southwestern fringes of Calcutta, from Asansol correctional home for a medical check-up on Tuesday.

Doctors at the hospital declared Mondal fit to travel to Delhi and he was taken to the national capital by an evening flight.

The special CBI court in Asansol had told the correctional home authorities that if Mondal’s health was satisfactory, they would hand him over to ED officials in Calcutta.

The personnel of the Asansol-Durgapur police commissionerate took Mondal from the Asansol prison around 6.45am in a Scorpio. The CBI court had also asked the Asansol-Durgapur police to give protection during Mondal’s journey from the jail to Calcutta.

The journey of about 200km took around four hours, which included a stop for food at Shaktigarh near Burdwan town.

The halt for breakfast sparked off a row as Mondal was seen speaking to Trinamul youth leader from Birbhum Kripamoy Ghosh and Tufan Middya, who is the driver of Mondal’s daughter.

Another unknown person wearing a mask was also present during the 30-minute halt.

Opposition parties questioned the role of the police in allowing Mondal to talk to the three persons.

Mondal was visibly annoyed when he was asked by reporters at Shaktigarh about the incident.

“How can Anubrata Mondal, an accused, be allowed by the police escorting him to hold a meeting with his party men? It can be understood how influential Mondal is. This meeting was preplanned and cannot be a coincidence. One Trinamul leader in Birbhum had said earlier that Mondal had been in touch with his party supporters from jail over the phone,” said CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty.

Birbhum’s Trinamul vice-president Moloy Mukherjee said they (Kripamoy and the other two) had gone to give Mondal necessary medicines and doctor’s prescriptions that he had left at home.

“There was no political meeting or controversy. They had gone to give him some prescriptions from his doctor and necessary medicines that he had forgotten at home. What is wrong with it?” he asked.

After Mondal had left Asansol, BJP leaders conducted rituals with water from the Ganga to “purify” the gate of the correctional home and the road which his convoy had taken. They also distributed sweets among local people.

Mondal was lodged in the Asansol jail after the CBI had arrested him in August last year.

Around 9pm, Mondal reached Delhi.

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