Former Assamese minister Hitesh Saikia's son Ashok Saikia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday in a case of alleged loan defaulting dated back to 1998. Saikia is the brother of Debabrata Saikia who is the leader of the Congress and Opposition Leader in Assam. A raid was conducted on his offices and Ashok Saikia will appear before a CBI special court tomorrow, the agency 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 9 lakhs loan amount. The CBI took over the case in 2001. The CBI Guwahati division had also questioned Saikia in the case earlier.
Before being arrested, Ashok Saikia told reporters, "The politically motivated case was registered in 1996. I've paid the loan and received acknowledgement. I'll submit it in court." He claimed that the loan had been paid much earlier via a 'compromised settlement scheme', which Debabrata Saikia backed up, by posting a purported ASCARD certificate showing the same on social media. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him for failing to respond to summons by the local court.
"I do not know whether he has been arrested or detained. In fact, I do not know where he has been taken. This is a very old case and was duly settled. The bank did not inform the court and it was the bank's fault," Debabrata Saikia said as quoted by PTI. It is also being alleged by senior Congress members in the state that the CBI is being used to intimidate Debabrata Saikia as he had refused to join the BJP.