Cattle scam: Anubrata Mondal’s judicial custody extended by 14 days

Kolkata, Feb 3 (IANS) A special CBI court in Asansol on Friday extended the judicial custody of Trinamool Congress’ Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal in connection with his alleged involvement in the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on February 17.

Now all eyes will be on hearing for Mondal’s bail application in Delhi High Court on February 8. After the Rouse Avenue Court there recently rejected his bail application, Mondal’s counsel moved a bail application at the Delhi High Court.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is conducting a parallel probe in the cattle-smuggling scam and is keen to take Mondal to New Delhi to question him at the agency’s national headquarter there, had opposed the bail plea. The bench at the Delhi High Court has issued a notice seeking ED’s arguments in support of its opposing Mondal’s bail plea and the hearing in the matter will be on February 8.

Meanwhile, there are clear indications that Trinamool Congress leadership is silently distancing itself from Mondal. During the recent Birbhum district visit by the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, there was not a single picture of Mondal in any of the programs she attended. Except once, the chief minister even did not utter the name of Mondal during those programmes. She also said that from now onwards she will herself supervise her party’s organisation activities in Birbhum.

On Friday, while Mondal was being brought out of the special court of CBI, the waiting media persons asked him about indications of party leadership distancing itself from him. However, Mondal did not utter a single word to this question.

–IANS
src/shb/