TMC leader Anubrata Mandal reaches CBI office for questioning

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress leader (TMC) Anubrata Mandal arrived at the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) Nizam Palace facility here on Thursday after dodging seven summons from the CBI for interrogation in the cattle and coal smuggling cases in West Bengal.

His voluntary presence at the CBI office comes 12 hours after Partha Chatterjee, the former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary-general, was interrogated for four hours at the same location on Wednesday evening. The West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) was investigating Chatterjee for recruitment violations.

Mandal's voluntary appearance falls two days ahead of his May 21 deadline. Mandal, the Trinamool Congress' Birbhum district president, had previously informed the CBI that he would not be able to meet with investigators until May 21 because a medical report from the state-run SSKM Medical College & Hospital had urged him to stay in bed for that time.

However, the CBI sleuths were surprised to receive a message from Mandal late Wednesday evening, almost an hour after Partha Chatterjee had left the office. Mandal stated in the communiqué that he would arrive at the CBI headquarters by 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Mandal left his home in Chinar Park on the outskirts of Kolkata at about 9.10 a.m. on Thursday morning, and his vehicle eventually arrived at the CBI's Nizam Palace Office in central Kolkata.

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