A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court at Asansol in West Burdwan district of West Bengal remanded Trinamool Congress strongman and the party's Birbhum district president, Anubrata Mandal to CBI custody till August 20.
The CBI officials arrested Mandal from his residence at Bolpur in Birbhum district at around 11 a.m. on Thursday. After conducting the medical check- up, he was presented at the special CBI court.
The CBI counsel in the court sought 14-day custody of Mandal. Surprisingly, his counsel did not move any bail application.
After hearing both sides, the court ordered CBI custody for Mandal till August 20.
It has been learnt the CBI sleuths will bring Mandal to Kolkata, and for the next nine days, they will question him regarding the cattle smuggling scam.
While he was being presented at the special court of CBI at Asansol, Mandal faced massive agitation from the local residents and political activists, who raised slogans like "cattle thief" slogans.
In fact, the activists of CPI-M and BJP were together there at the court campus with their respective party flags and shouting slogans against Mandal.
Some of them even hurdled slippers at the arrested leader -- once considered as the final word in Birbhum district.
The CBI sleuths and the accompanying central armed forces personnel had a tough time in shielding Mandal from the public wrath, and escorting him to the courtroom.
His arrest was welcomed by the leaders of the opposition parties in the state.
CPI-M central committee member and the former leader of Left parties in West Bengal assembly, Sujan Chakraborty said that it is a welcome move that through being late, CBI has finally arrested Mandal.
"They should grill him now and know of the other beneficiaries in the higher level who have benefitted the proceeds of the cattle smuggling," he said.
BJP's national vice president and the party's Lok Sabha member, Dilip Ghosh said that it is an irony that Mandal was handcuffed on the day of Raksha Bandhan.
"The patronage of the chief minister made him think himself as all powerful and now he will have to face the consequences," Ghosh said.
West Bengal Congress president and veteran party Lok Sabha member, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that CBI should not stop at Mandal, and rather make an all-out effort to identify his superiors in the Trinamool Congress who also benefited from the crime.