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Assam government sacks arrested minister
K Anurag in Guwahati | June 03, 2008 23:44 IST
The Congress government in Assam dismissed its Education minister and government spokesman Ripun Bora on Tuesday, after the minister was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in New Delhi, for trying to bribe a CBI officer probing a murder case against him.
Official sources said that Assam Governor Lieutenant General (Retired) Ajai Kumar Singh has put his seal of approval on the dismissal of the senior Cabinet minister, who has caused much embarrassment to the government as well as the party.
The CBI directorate had earlier informed the Chief Minister's office about the arrest of the senior Cabinet minister. The issue has stirred up a political storm with opposition political parties including the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party taking pot shots at the ruling party.
The CBI also arrested a journalist, Mukul Pathak, who works for a local vernacular and was with the minister in New Delhi. The Newspaper House, G L Publications, where the journalist was employed, has suspended the scribe following his arrest by the CBI.
The CBI was investigating a case of murder of one Daniel Toppo, which was registered against the Assam minister. Toppo, who was the president of the Sonitpur district unit of the influential Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, was murdered on the night of September 27, 2000, near Gohpur township in Sonitpur.
At that time, Ripun Bora was a local leader and an aspirant for a Congress ticket from the Gohpur legislative constituency in Sonitpur district, to contest the 2001 Assembly polls. Toppo was also considered as a likely candidate by the Congress party.
Toppo's family later alleged that Bora was behind the murder and registered a case against him with the police. The case was later handed over to the CBI by the Assam government.