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Cattle scam: Anubrata Mondal’s judicial custody extended till Mar 3

Kolkata, Feb 17 (IANS) A special court of CBI on Friday extended the judicial custody of Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal, the prime accused in the cattle smuggling scam, by another 14 days. He will now be presented at the same court again on March 3.

The CBI counsel on Friday presented to the court located at Asansol in West Bengal the details of the 346 fake bank accounts identified by the central agency sleuths that have been purportedly opened and used for diverting scam proceeds to different channels.

These 346 bank accounts with a district cooperative bank in Birbhum district were opened in the names of third parties, mostly hailing from financially marginalised backgrounds from the same district, who did not have any knowledge about the existence of such accounts.

The CBI counsel also informed the court that although the central agency sleuths questioned Mondal at Asansol Special Correctional Home on Thursday about these fake bank accounts, the latter did not cooperate during the interrogation.

The CBI counsel further said that besides the fake bank accounts the central agency sleuths have also come across information about several plots of land whose transfer deeds and registration processes were highly questionable. The central agency counsel in this connection referred to a one-acre plot of land at Kankalitala in Birbhum district, whose owner as per land registration documents, is not even aware of the existence of that plot of land in his name.

Surprisingly, Mondal’s counsel did not move any bail plea on Friday and finally the judge extended his judicial custody till March 3.

At the same time, the judge also gave permission to CBI to question Mondal’s bodyguard Sehgal Hossain at Tihar Correctional Home in New Delhi, where he is serving judicial custody in connection with the same scam.