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CBI raids 30 locations in West Bengal over coal scam, kingpin may have funded political party, TMC leaders under scanner: Reports

Reports indicate that a possible link between the cattle-smuggling and coal rackets is under the scanner of the central agencies.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today has raided over 30 locations over a coal smuggling case, according to reports. The locations are spread over West Bengal including in Kolkata. According to reports, the racket in connection with which the raids are being conducted is led by in Asansol based kingpin named Anup Majhi. 

According to Times Now, the offices of Anup Manjhi has also been raided. Manjhi is suspect to have links with officers and TMC ministers in West Bengal.

Premised being raided include offices and homes of Majhi’s associates in Asansol, Durgapur, and Raniganj in Burdwan district, as well as Bishnupur in the South 24 Parganas district.

Anup Manjhi, who is also known as Lala, runs a racket in the open cast coal mines along the Bengal-Jharkhand border and may have funded political parties in West Bengal, according to reports. Earlier this month, two notices were served to Manjhi. Out of the three notices served, Manjhi had only acknowledged two of those notices.

According to NDTV, Mamata Banerjee was miffed and had questioned the raids being conducted in West Bengal by central agencies, including those on Manjhi and the cattle smuggling racket, whose kingpin was arrested recently.

Link between cattle smuggling racket and the coal smuggling racket?

NDTV reports that a possible link between the cattle-smuggling and coal rackets is under the scanner of the central agencies.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the 6th of November nabbed the kingpin of a cattle smuggling racket being run along the India-Bangladesh border. The culprit was identified as Enamul Haque is from West Bengal and was arrested by the CBI in Delhi. A Border Security Force (BSF) officer was also reportedly arrested with Haque.

According to reports, the central investigative agency had raided the offices of two chartered accountants in Kolkata on Thursday in connection with the case. Satish Kumar, former commandant of the 36BSF battalion now posted in Raipur, Enamul Haque, Anarul SK and Mohammad Golam Mustafa have been booked by the CBI.

It is alleged that the cattle smugglers have been bribing the BSF official to ensure that the smuggling racket ran smoothly. Haque has been out of bail after the CBI arrested him in March 2018 for allegedly bribing another BSF Commandant Jibu T Mathew. Mathew was nabbed at Alappuzha railway station in January 2018 in possession of cash to the tune of Rs 47 lakh.

In the month of September, the CBI had conducted multiple raids at multiple locations in Kolkata and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal in a bid to unearth the nexus involved in the rampant illegal cattle trade happening along the India-Bangladesh border. Raids were also conducted at various locations at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Amritsar in Punjab and Raipur in Chhattisgarh.

In the month of June this year, the BSF had exposed a cruel method of smuggling adopted by cow smugglers along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal after they retrieved a live calf tied up and hidden inside a carcass floating in the river. The smugglers reportedly tie socket bombs to the necks of the cattle while smuggling them to cause physical harm to the forces when they are caught.

In April this year, the BSF had informed that the infiltration and smuggling of cattle, gold, marijuana, fake Indian currency notes (FICN) through the porous 2,216.7 km India-Bangladesh border had witnessed a sharp decline due to the outbreak of the Wuhan virus.

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