‘Arrested BSF officer, Trinamool leader can reveal Mandal’s links with cattle smuggling’

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The two arrested accused in cattle smuggling cases in West Bengal — BSF commandant Satish Kumar and Trinamool Congress leader Bikash Mishra — can provide crucial clues about the links of Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mandal to these cases, according to the sleuths of the two central agencies probing the matter.

The sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), plan to bring Kumar and Mishra face to face and grill them. Discussions are on to decide whether the interrogation will be conducted separately by the CBI and the ED or by a joint team of the two agencies, said a CBI official.

“We are not quite sure as of now when actually we will get to question Mandal. In the meantime, from Mishra and Kumar we want to gather as much evidence as possible that can establish Mandal’s links with the cattle smuggling,” the CBI official said.

It is learnt that the two agencies will try to get clues about the modus operandi of transactions in cattle smuggling, details of the accounts and account holders where the money was transferred and details of the influential people who were befitting from this illegal trade from the two accused.

The ED has already tracked huge assets of Kumar that are disproportionate to his income. “Similar assets have been traced to Mishra too. We doubt that the sources of these assets of Kumar and Mishra are the same. Hence, it has become necessary to integrate them to avoid inconsistencies in their statements,” the CBI official said.

It is learnt that the CBI has already sent a detailed note to the ED about the assets of Mishra.

Recently Mandal informed the CBI that he would be able to face the central agency sleuths only after May 31 and cited medical reports in support of his plea. The CBI has forwarded the medical reports to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The agency has also alerted the Kolkata airport authorities and said that any possible air travel attempt by Mandal from there should be immediately brought to its notice. The CBI has contacted the Regional Passport Office in Kolkata to cross-check Mandal’s claim that he does not hold an Indian passport.

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