Anubrata Mondal is an Indian politician and businessman. He made headlines in August 2022 after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested him in a multi-crore cattle smuggling case. He is also known to be one of the closest associates of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Anubrata Mondal was born on Wednesday, 1 April 1959 (age 63 years; as of 2022) in Bolpur, Birbhum district, West Bengal, India. His zodiac sign is Aries. Anubrata studied till the 8th standard only.
Anubrata Mondal was born into a low-income Bengali family.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Kripasindhu Mondal, was a businessman. His mother’s name is Pushparani Mondal. She died in April 2019.
He is the eldest of five siblings. He has a sister named Shibani Ghosh. His brother, Sumit Mondal, is a primary school teacher.
Wife & Children
His wife’s name is Chhabi Mondal. She passed away in January 2020 due to cancer. His daughter, Sukanya Mondal, is a primary school teacher and businesswoman.
Anubrata Mondal dated Chhabi Mondal for a few years before getting married to her.
Anubrata Mondal follows Hinduism.
Anubrata Mondal used to run a small grocery shop to make ends meet. He also worked as a fish merchant later. His career as a politician began in the early 1990s when he joined the Indian National Congress (INC).
He was introduced to Mamata Banerjee in the 90s when she worked in the INC as president of the state Youth Congress. He left the INC in 1998 when Mamata Banerjee left due to growing differences between her and the senior leaders of the INC. Anubrata joined the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) in the same year after. In 2000, he was appointed as TMC’s President of the Birbhum district. According to Anubrata, he has never contested elections as he never wanted to become a minister. While talking about it, during an interview, he said,
I never contested general or assembly elections as I had never been greedy to become a minster. I don’t want it. I am happy working for the party as a loyalist.”
As a senior leader of TMC, he has successfully organised several state elections in which the TMC has had landslide victories. Reportedly, his power grew manifold after the TMC formed a government in West Bengal in 2011. Anubarat Mondal has also served as the chairman of the West Bengal State Rural Development Agency (WBSRDA). He has also served as the chairman of the Tarapith Development Authority. In February 2022, he was included in the TMC’s national working committee as a member.
In 1990, Anubrata Mondal founded Mayurakshi Cotton Mills in Birbhum, West Bengal. He was appointed director of the mill on 9 April 2013. According to the CBI, he also has more than 16 rice mills registered in West Bengal to his name. He also owns 2500 shares in ANM Agrochem Foods.
Indulging in violence during elections
Anubrata Mondal has often attracted controversies for perpetrating violence in West Bengal, especially during the elections. In 2013, during the panchayat election campaigning in Birbhum district, Mondal made headlines after he openly threatened the non-TMC candidates. During a rally, he asked the TMC workers to burn the houses of the opposition candidates and attack the police force, deployed for election duties, with crude bombs. He was also accused by the candidates of INC and the BJP of asking his supporters to attack the candidates who were trying to fill their nominations for the polls. Talking about it, the then Birbhum district BJP president, Dudhkumar Mondal, said,
Sujay Biswas and Biswajit Baidya of BJP were dragged out from the BDO office and beaten severely. They sustained serious head injuries. At Labhpur, our district Kashinath Mishra was beaten and he has been hospitalized with a head injury.”
His remarks and actions were criticised by the opposition parties, who complained to the state elections commission. Mamata later defended him and accused the media of trying to make TRP by distorting his statement and neglecting his medical condition of hypoxia. In 2014, he was accused of sanctioning the murder of Sagar Ghosh, who was the father of Hriday Ghosh, an independent candidate from Birbhum who contested the 2013 panchayat elections. Reportedly, Anubrata gave provocative speeches during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the 2016 Bengal Assembly elections, after which he was put on a watch list by the Election Commission of India (ECI). During the 2018 panchayat polls, several non- TMC candidates accused Mondal of instructing his supporters to block other candidates from filing their nominations. During the 2021 assembly elections in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) filed a complaint against Anubrata after the workers of the TMC beat Bapi Ankure, a BJP worker, to death. In its complaint, the BJP said that Bapi was murdered by the TMC workers on the orders of Anubrata as he wanted to create “an atmosphere of fear” in Bengal. A video once went viral on the internet in which Anubrata was threatening a senior police official of facing dire consequences for curtailing him.
West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has filed a complaint with Election Commission “against TMC leader Anubrata Mondol and party workers for causing the cold-blooded murder of BJP worker & creating an atmosphere of fear.” pic.twitter.com/uoUVUelL0r
— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2021
Anubrata Mondal’s name has been linked to the Bogtui massacre, which took place in March 2022, in which eight people were burnt alive in a rivalry.
Allegations of money laundering and cattle smuggling
In 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged an FIR against Anubrata Mondal, his bodyguard Saigal Hossain, Enamul Haque, and a BSF Commandant named Satish Kumar. In the FIR, CBI claimed that Anubrata was involved in cross-border cattle smuggling between 2015 and 2017 and earned crores of rupees through it. On 12 August 2022, the CBI took Anubrata into custody after failing to appear before the investigative team in Kolkata, even after being given a summon ten times. A CBI official, during an interview, said,
We have arrested him for non-cooperation in the investigation into the cattle smuggling case. We have found Mondal’s direct involvement in the scam. We will question him today and take necessary action as per law.”
Later, he was produced before a court in Asansol, which sent him into CBI’s custody and was later taken to a correctional centre in Asansol. In November 2022, the CBI filed another chargesheet against Anubrata Mondal for laundering money that he earned by smuggling cattle to Bangladesh through lottery tickets. According to CBI, Anubrata tried channelling black money through lottery tickets. In December 2021, he purchased a lottery ticket from a company in Nagaland and was declared the winner of Rs 1 crore. The CBI also claimed that Rs 51 lacs were deposited in his daughter’s account in instalments. During an interview, an investigator from the CBI said,
Mondal tried to regularise the proceeds from cattle smuggling through some lottery prize money. The investigation is going on to find out whether and how he and his daughter won lottery prizes more than once.”
In November 2022, the father of Sheikh Noor Ali, who had won Rs 1 crore in a lottery, claimed that Anubrata Mondal had struck a deal with Noor Ali for buying his ticket for a sum of Rs 83 lakhs. He accused Anubrata of forcefully taking the ticket without paying the promised amount for it. Later, Bapi Ganguly, a lottery ticket vendor from Birbhum, was summoned by the CBI for interrogation. He told the CBI that the claims of Noor Ali’s father were correct and that Anubrata had paid him only Rs 5 to 7 lakhs. He also said that when Noor asked for the remaining amount, Anubrata Mondal sent several goons to threaten Noor and his family against complaining to the police. Fearing for his life, Noor fled Birbhum for a week with his family. During an interview, while talking about it, Bapi said,
The prized lottery was actually sold by the Rahul Lottery Agency of Bolpur. Retailer Kalam Sheikh sold it to Noor Ali (a resident of a village near Bolpur). Anubrata Mondal had purchased the lottery ticket (from Noor) for Rs 83 lakh. Noor Ali had told the truth. He is not lying to anyone. The sale of the lottery ticket was mediated by Biswajyoti Banerjee (a Trinamul councillor in Bolpur) and I personally checked whether the ticket was genuine or not as they had no experience in the lottery business at all.”
In November 2022, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Anubrata Mondal for his affiliation with the cross-border cattle smuggling case.
The teaching scandal
In 2022, Anubrata Mondal was accused of having his daughter, Sukanya Mondal, his brother, and his close acquaintances appointed as primary school government teachers without them ever passing the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) while serving as the chairman of the West Bengal Rural Development Authority. Anubrata, however, refuted the allegations against him and his daughter and said that he has all the proof to prove that his daughter cleared the TET examination. Anubrata, in an interview, said,
She has passed the exam and has a certificate too. The court has not summoned her [Sukanya]. It has just asked her to present her documents.”
According to the CBI, Anubrata Mondal’s annual income for the year 2020-21 was Rs 1,44,90,090.
According to the CBI, Anubrata Mondal has 24 properties registered to his name. He also owns a 31.2-acre farmland in Sian, Birbhum district, West Bengal. He has also acquired six “unnamed” petrol pumps in West Bengal and owns more than a hundred dumper trucks. According to sources, over the years, Anubrata has acquired 240 acres of land.
- Anubrata Mondal is also known as Keshto Da.
- In a chargesheet filed by the CBI in October 2022, CBI claimed that from 2013 to 2022, Anubrata purchased properties worth Rs 6.5 crore. Between 2015 to 2021, he sold properties worth Rs 2.19 crore.
- Even though Anubrata Mondal never held a cabinet ministerial post, he used to travel in West Bengal in a car with a red beacon.
- On 26 November 2021, Anubrata Mondal was appointed as the director of a West Bengal state government’s unlisted company named West Bengal Swarojgar Corporation Limited.
- In 2022, Anubrata Mondal published an autobiography titled Khela Hobe.
- He follows a non-vegetarian diet.