CBI summons TMC's Anubrata Mandal in cattle smuggling case

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(Eds: Adds Mamata's quote) Kolkata, Apr 26 (PTI) The anti-corruption branch of the CBI on Monday summoned TMC leader Anubrata Mandal for questioning in connection with its probe into cross-border cattle smuggling.

Sources said Mandal, the Birbhum district president of the TMC, has been asked to appear before officials of the central agency on Tuesday at its Nizam Palace office here.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has been probing cases of illegal cattle trade for quite some time, has said that animals sourced from different places are regularly smuggled out via the India-Bangladesh border.

The CBI, in its first chargesheet, has named at least seven accused, including BSF commandant Satish Kumar and businessman Enamul Haq.

Both Haq and Kumar have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the case.

The agency has also raided properties of TMC leader Vinay Mishra, who is considered to be a close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

Meanwhile, the CM, during a meeting of party workers and candidates here, said that he has asked Mandal to intimate officials concerned that he would be able to appear before them only after the assembly elections, which is set to conclude on April 29.

'Today, Anubrata Mondal was asked by two people who introduced them as CBI officers to report on April 27, two days before assembly elections in Birbhum district.

'I told him inform them that he would be able to visit their office only after the polling process is over. He is president of the TMC's district unit, and cannot be summoned all of a sudden in the middle of the elections. In the past, too, he was put under surveillance by the EC during polls.

Such harassment shouldn't be allowed,' she added. PTI DC SUS RMS RMS