EC restricts movement of Trinamool leader Anubrata Mondal

Anticipating violence, the Election Commission of India on Tuesday restricted the movement of Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal, the president of the party’s Birbhum district unit.

In an order, the Commission asked the West Bengal chief electoral officer to put Mondal under “strict surveillance” of the executive magistrate and the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), starting from 5 pm on April 27 till 7 am on April 30, to ensure the conduct of free and fair polls.

The poll panel took the decision after receiving complaints and feedback from “various sources” ahead of the eighth and final phase of the Assembly elections on April 29, when the Birbhum district will go to the polls.

“I am directed to state that in view of the serious complaints and feedback received from various sources and as per the report of the DEO and SP Birbhum, the Commission has directed that Anubrata Mondal, District President of AITC, Birbhum, should be kept under strict surveillance of the Executive Magistrate and CAPF round the clock from 5 am on April 27 to 7 am on April 30 for ensuring free and fair elections, as was done during the Assembly elections in 2016 and the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Videography to be arranged with date time stamping. The team constituted for this purpose should comprise CAPF personnel under a local magistrate,” the EC order said.

The development comes on the heels of a summon issued to Mondal by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday, asking the Trinamool leader to appear before it for questioning in connection with the agency’s probe into cross-border cattle smuggling.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at a party meeting, said that she had asked Mondal to appear before the CBI after the polling gets over, according to reports.