Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former Assam Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia’s son Ashok Saikia today in a 1998 case of alleged loan default.
Ashok Saikia is the brother of Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia.
A team of CBI officials raided his Dispur residence today and arrested him. Mr Saikia will be presented in a CBI special court tomorrow, they said.
Sources said the raid was carried out on the basis of a case registered at Guwahati’s Paltan Bazar Police Station by employees of Assam State Co-operative and Agriculture Development (ASCARD) Bank in 1998 for non-repayment of the loan amount. The CBI took over the case in 2001.
The central agency had registered two cases against Mr Saikia and he was convicted in one of them.
Mr Saikia, however, said in a statement that he repaid the loan in 2011 through a “compromised settlement scheme”.
“A proof to this effect was also issued by the bank back in 2015 undersigned by the bank’s then general manager. This is a fake case staged against me by people with vested interest,” he said in the statement.
Mr Saikia also has also shared with the media a notice on the bank’s letterhead that says he has cleared the dues.
Responding to his brother’s arrest, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said, “He has said that he had already repaid the balance amount and he also has relevant documents to prove that. If he has already repaid the amount and a case has been filed against him, why has the bank not intimidated the investigating agency? Also, CBI officials claim they sent several intimations to my brother at our residence regarding the outstanding amount, but though my mother stays there, we haven’t received any such intimation.”