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Anubrata Mondal 'Ruled' Birbhum, Administration Was under His Thumb, Locals Tell News18

By: Kamalika Sengupta

News18.com

Last Updated: August 12, 2022, 08:00 IST

Birbhum, India

The CBI on Thursday arrested the senior Trinamool Congress leader from his residence in Bolpur for allegedly not cooperating in its probe into a cattle smuggling case. File pic/IANS

The CBI on Thursday arrested the senior Trinamool Congress leader from his residence in Bolpur for allegedly not cooperating in its probe into a cattle smuggling case. File pic/IANS

West Bengal's Birbhum district, some locals said, has been a focal point of coal, cattle, and sand smuggling. And Anubrata Mondal allegedly would get a cut out of all of this

A video has emerged on the internet, purportedly featuring arrested Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal speaking to a police officer.

“What’s the time?” the TMC leader is seen asking.

“5pm,” says the officer.

“Arrest them by 7pm, or I will burn everything down. I am giving you time; otherwise, I’d destroy everything. Development is happening here,” Anubrata Mondal is seen saying.

The video is now rapidly spreading online. News18 has not independently verified the content.

For long, there were allegations that Anubrata Mondal lorded over West Bengal’s Birbhum district, with the local administration bowing to his wishes. The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested the senior Trinamool Congress leader from his residence in Bolpur for allegedly not cooperating in its probe into a cattle smuggling case.

Locals say he was the “ruler” of Birbhum. Police officers, including senior IPS officials, would have to listen to him, they allege. According to them, some officers who were posted in Birbhum for long stretches had developed good relations with him.

Sources say that around 2013 he developed a system, in which for every key decision in the district, the final nod had to come from him. Earlier, he had some people in his own party opposing him. Locals say at one point a lobby supporting senior TMC leader Mukul Roy was standing against Anubrata, but over time that disappeared.

Birbhum, some locals told News18, has been a focal point of coal, cattle, and sand smuggling. Here, money blows in the air, they say. Anubrata Mondal allegedly would get a cut out of all of this.

Sources in CBI say Abdul Latif, who has been named in the cattle smuggling charge sheet, was the owner of the “Goru Haat” (cattle market) and was a key dealer. The supplementary charge sheet says Latif used to call Saigal Hussain, Anubrata’s bodyguard.

Did the calls reach Anubrata? Was Saigal working on his behalf? These are questions the CBI is seeking answers for.

Sources say Anubrata was known for making controversial comments about hurling bombs on the police, gouging the opposition’s eyes out, etc. Earlier, he used to be the last word in Birbhum. Now the locals are getting their say.

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first published:August 12, 2022, 08:00 IST
last updated:August 12, 2022, 08:00 IST