April 29, 2021 4:35:03 am
A day after the Election Commission (EC) ordered that Anubrata Mondal be placed under “strict surveillance”, the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Birbhum district president evaded the poll panel and the central forces for few hours on Wednesday.
The EC ordered the surveillance on Mondal as Birbhum is set to go to the polls on April 29 in the last phase of the Assembly elections. According to the order, the action was taken based on “serious complaints and feedback received from several sources and report of the DEO and SP, Birbhum”.
Mondal, known for his imposing personality and controversial speeches, went out of his house at around 11.45 am and got into his car with his security guards. The Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel tasked with keeping an eye on him pursued him in their vehicles along with the local magistrate. However, minutes later, they lost track of Mondal’s car after failing to negotiate the two-wheelers, bicycles and auto-rickshaws (locally known as “totos”) on the congested roads of Bolpur.
Then, for the next few hours, a frantic search ensued. The TMC strongman appeared outside the famous Tarapith Kali Temple, around 60 km from here, two hours later. It was learnt that he visited several places on his way to the temple, and interacted with party workers and people.
“He visited Nanoor, Labhpur, Mallarpur and Sainthia on his way to Tarapith and interacted with locals. He however stayed inside his vehicle and did not come out,” said a TMC leader.
After praying at the temple, Mondal went to a nearby lodge to rest. Later in the day, he returned to Bolpur and visited the TMC office.
“I prayed for the success of my party in the Assembly polls. I have nothing more to say,” he told reporters.
According to EC officials, the surveillance on Mondal will be tightened on Thursday as polling begins in Birbhum.
He will be kept under surveillance till 7 am on April 30. Mondal had earlier been kept under surveillance during the 2016 Assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.