Malda, March 16: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), has summoned Trinamool Congress MLA Jakir Hussain in connection with a cattle smuggling case next week. The ED is set to interrogate the MLA on the basis of a case registered against him at the Kaliachak police station two years ago.
The case was registered against Jakir Hussain on April 5, 2021, following raids by the local police in Malda district of West Bengal. During the raids, 13 trucks filled with illegally smuggled cattle were seized. The police had accused Jakir Hussain of involvement in the smuggling racket.
The case was later taken up by the ED and a team of enforcement officials had visited Malda and conducted interrogations of several people associated with the MLA. However, the ED had not been able to question Jakir Hussain as he had been avoiding their summons.
Recently, however, the ED served a second notice to the MLA and has asked him to appear before the agency on March 21. The ED has asked the MLA to bring along with him his financial documents related to the case.
Jakir Hussain is a first term MLA from the Rejinagar assembly constituency of Malda district. He was elected to the assembly in 2016 from the TMC ticket and was one of the few TMC MLAs from the district who were re-elected in the 2021 assembly elections.
The ED has been probing several other cases of illegal smuggling from the district. Central government agencies have been monitoring Malda district for several years due to its close proximity to the international border with Bangladesh and narcotics smuggling is common occurrence.
The ED has claimed that Jakir Hussain is involved in a much larger smuggling ring and he is one of the main conspirators behind illegally smuggling cattle across the border. The ED is also probing the MLA’s links to a number of other criminal activities, such as drug peddling in the district.
The agency is expected to grill Jakir Hussain on the cattle smuggling case and also inquire about his involvement in other alleged criminal activities. If found guilty, the MLA may face stringent punishment and could even be disqualified from his post as an MLA.
The smuggling of cattle from West Bengal to Bangladesh is a highly profitable business for the smugglers and a major source of revenue for the district. The ED’s investigation into the case may crack down on the illegal smuggling racket prevalent in Malda district.