A special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Asansol in West Bengal on Saturday extended Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal's CBI custody till August 24 in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal.
Mondal's counsel, who moved the bail plea on medical grounds, argued that despite having him in custody for 10 days, the CBI sleuths could not produce any substantial proof regarding Mondal's involvement in the cattle smuggling scam.
However, the CBI counsels vehemently opposed the bail plea and argued that if Mondal, being a highly influential person, is granted bail, there is every possibility that he might attempt to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses. The CBI counsel also handed over to the court in a sealed envelope a list of names of people who were reportedly threatened or extorted by Mondal and his associates.
The CBI counsel also informed the court that during the last 10 days, when Mondal was in CBI custody, the central agency sleuths have procured some more vital clues about his involvement in the cattle smuggling scam and some more time is required for the purpose of cross-checking them. The CBI counsel also complained of non-cooperation on part of Mondal during these period while he was in the central agency custody.
After hearing both sides, the special court of CBI finally remanded Mondal to CBI custody for another four days.
There were tense moments in the court premises while Mondal was brought there on Saturday afternoon. On one hand, the BJP and CPI(M) supporters started shouting 'cow thief' slogans. On the other hand, the Trinamool Congress supporters, at another corner of the court premises, shouted anti-BJP and anti-CBI slogans. The huge police contingent present there had a tough time in ensuring that the two confronting sides did not get a chance to come face to face.