In a breaking development, on November 7 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former Assam Chief Minister Histeswar Saikia's son Ashok Saikia pertaining to an alleged loan default case in relation to a sum of Rs 9 lakh. Ashok was booked after a non-bailable warrant was issued by the court reasoning his non-appearance despite numerous summons.
The arrest relates to charges pressed against the son of Hiteswar Saikia in the year 1998 who will appear before a special CBI court on November 9. Ashok's elder brother and Leader of Opposition in the Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia told PTI that his younger brother was nabbed by a team of Guwahati CBI officials after thoroughly questioning him for hours.
The charges related to a 1996 Assam State Co-operative and Agriculture Development (ASCARD) Bank loan scam. Police had registered in 1998 and it was handed over to CBI in 2001. Earlier during a media interaction, Ashok Saikia had registered in 1998 and the case was handed over to CBI in the year 2001.
Reports suggest that Ashok Saikia had issued more than one press release that he has repaid the loan amount and went ahead to share a bank statement, though its authenticity has not been verified yet.
The bank statement shared by Ashok Saikia read, "This is to certify that Sri Ashok Kr. Saikia, Director, HPS India Pvt. Ltd., a resident of Nandan Nagar, Sarumataria, Dispur Guwahati-6, was the loanee of Assam State, Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd."
"He has availed loan amount of Rs. 9, 37,701.00 only under Bridge loan scheme during the year 1996. As per our letter Ref. No. ASCARDB (L/C) 192/2002/61 Dated. 14.09.2011 under the compromise settlement scheme he has fully repay (repaid) the dues both principal and interest. Now his aforesaid loan is liquidated," it added.
The alleged ASCARD bank statement issued on October 10, 2015, was signed by the then General Manager HN Borah. Initially, the case against Ashok Saikia was registered at Guwahati's Paltan Bazaar Police Station after two complaints were filed with the premier central-probe agency's Kolkata team. Notably, he was declared a convict in one of the cases in 2013 by a special CBI court.