Arrested Trinamool leader Anubrata Mondal will remain in jail after a special Central Bureau of Investigation judge rejected his bail plea and sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.
Mr Mondal, a District President of the Trinamool Congress, was arrested in connection with the cattle smuggling probe in West Bengal on August 11. His CBI custody ended today.
Anubrata Mondal had told the court he would rent a place near the CBI office in Kolkata and stay there and not enter Birbhum in order to convince the court to grant him bail.
He had sought bail on health grounds and his lawyer argued there was no evidence to back the charges against him. The CBI argued that he was an influential person and his release on bail would definitely lead to compromising of evidence. After he complained of breathing problems, an oxygen cylinder was kept on standby during the hearing.
The hearing took place a day after the special CBI judge hearing the case complained he had received a threat. Mr Mondal has demanded a CBI probe into the issue.
When asked about the threat, the Trinamool leader said the CBI should investigate this as the person in whose name the threat letter was issued has denied issuing it and said the signature was fake.
The hearing took place today amidst tight security at the Asansol court. The police have also started an investigation into the case of the judge receiving a threat. Meanwhile, Kharagpur MP and former Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh has said that Anubrata Mondal has the support of the party and the Chief Minister because he has amassed a lot of wealth in the cattle smuggling probe.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has backed the leader and targeted the BJP for ‘misuse’ of central agencies. As the CBI team accompanying Anubrata Mondal drove towards the courts, Congress workers shouted slogans saying “goru chor” or “cow thief”.
Dilip Ghosh told reporters this morning, “No section in West Bengal, no person is beyond threat or fear. If you can threaten the judge by writing a letter…Earlier, I have seen that there was a dharna in front of the house of the High Court judge and he was also threatened. He said even if you put a gun to my ear, I will not be scared. Everyone is living in fear. An atmosphere of fear has been created and loot is happening. They have done this so that no one moves against them”.