Former Assam chief minister Hiteswar Saikia’s son Ashok Saikia was granted bail by a special court in Guwahati on November 8. Saikia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on November 7 in connection with an alleged bank fraud case.

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Saikia was presented before a special magistrate (CBI) on November 8. “He was granted bail by the court following our plea that my brother should not have been arrested. The exact details and conditions are not available yet,” said Ashok Saikia’s brother, Debabrata Saikia who is the leader of opposition in the Assam assembly.

On November 7, Ashok Saikia was arrested from his residence in Guwahati. His family said the case pertains to a Rs 9.37 lakh loan that Ashok Saikia had taken from the Assam State Cooperative And Rural Development Bank in 1996.

A case was initially registered at Paltan Bazar police station in Guwahati in 1998 and later transferred to the CBI in 2001 after two complaints were filed with the probe agency.

Congress leader Debabrata Saikia told the media that his brother was being victimised for the bank loan he had already repaid long ago to the bank.

The opposition Congress released a letter of the ASCARDB on November 7 where it was shown that Saikia had availed the loan of Rs 9,37,701 from the bank in 1996 for business but in 2015, he had cleared the dues and HN Borah, the then general manager of the bank, had in a letter on October 10, 2015, said the loan had been liquidated under the compromise settlement scheme.

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The Congress blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for foisting fake and fabricated cases. “Despite Saikia clearing all pending dues with the bank in 2015, he was arrested on Sunday. This is a clear indication of the government using the country’s top investigating agency to further its political ends. They are doing this because of Debabrata Saikia’s refusal to switch over to BJP despite inducements and threats,” said state Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah.

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