CBI freezes FDs of Subrata Mondal; HC summons daughter in separate case

Updated on Aug 18, 2022 12:42 AM IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday froze fixed deposits worth ₹16

Kolkata, Aug 14 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) Birbhum District President Anubrata Mondal, who was arrested by the CBI in a cattle smuggling case, being brought to CBI headquarters after a medical checkup at the Command Hospital, in Kolkata on Sunday. (ANI Photo) (Saikat Paul)
Kolkata, Aug 14 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) Birbhum District President Anubrata Mondal, who was arrested by the CBI in a cattle smuggling case, being brought to CBI headquarters after a medical checkup at the Command Hospital, in Kolkata on Sunday. (ANI Photo) (Saikat Paul)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday froze fixed deposits worth 16.97 crore belonging Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Anubrata Mondal in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling case, agency officials close to the probe said.

Mondal was arrested by the federal agency on August 11.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta high court on Wednesday summoned Mondal’s daughter to appear before it on Thursday in connection with a petition alleging that she was recruited as an assistant teacher in a state-run primary school without qualifying in the Teacher’s Eligibility Test (TET).

Speaking about Mondal’s FDs, one of the officials mentioned above said: “Fixed deposits worth 16.97 crore in the name of Mondal and his close associates in three banks have been frozen. It is being suspected that Mondal passed on proceeds from cattle smuggling to his close associates and relatives, who deposited the money in banks in their own accounts. They were later transferred to Mondol’s name in the form of FDs.”

On Wednesday, a CBI team went to question Mondal’s daughter, Sukanya, in connection with the cattle smuggling case after properties and firms, allegedly registered in her name surfaced during the course of the probe. She, however, refused to cooperate with the agency, the official quoted above said. CBI officials also questioned Anubrata’s accountant during the day, the official added.

Reacting to the seizures of FDs, TMC’s Bengal spokesperson, Debangshu Bhattacharya, said: “I have heard that Mondol has a few businesses. If he has kept some fixed deposits in the bank, it is already open to the Income Tax department. I don’t know what CBI officials are claiming before the media.”

In Calcutta high court meanwhile, a petition was moved before a single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay that Sukanya Mondal never qualified in the TET examination but got a job in a government school close to her home in Birbhum. It is further alleged that she never reported to the school and instead, the attendance register was brought to her residence each day so she could it mark it.

“Sukanya Mondal never qualified in the TET examination. She never even attended the primary school after being recruited as an assistant teacher. We have named five more persons, mostly relatives and family members of Anubrata Mondol, who got teachers’ jobs without passing TET,” said Firdaus Shammim, the lawyer who filed the petition on behalf of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Those named in the petition include TMC leader Mondal’s brother Sumit, nephew Satyaki Mondo and Arko Dutta, the politician’s personal assistant.

“The high court bench has directed all six persons, including Sukanya Mondol, to appear before the court on Thursday at 3 pm with their TET certificates. The court has directed that the order be communicated to the superintendent of police of Birbhum district,” said Shamim.

State education minister Bratya Basu refused to comment saying that he was not aware of the issue.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the party saying it would be unusual if Sukanya had been recruited after qualifying properly. “That is not unusual. It would have been unusual had she been recruited after qualifying an exam and would have been working every day to draw a salary,” said BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya.

In May, the same bench had removed Ankita Adhikary, daughter of West Bengal’s junior education minister Paresh Adhikary, from a school teacher’s job. She was allegedly recruited as an assistant teacher even though her name was not in the merit list and she never appeared in the interview.

Former education minister Partha Chatterjee has already been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with irregularities with several crores in teacher recruitments across the state. The CBI is also probing the matter on the orders of the Calcutta high court.

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