Assam Education Minister Ripun Bora was arrested in Delhi on Tuesday for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to an officer of the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating a murder case against him.
The CBI officer, who is probing the murder of student leader Daniel Toppo, filed a complaint on Monday evening that Borah had allegedly offered him a bribe to hush up the case.
Toppo, district president of All Assam Tea Tribe Students Union, was Borahs rival candidate in the Gohpur constituency during the 1996 Assembly elections in Assam. Toppo was vocal against Bora, who lost the elections in 1996 but was elected from Gohpur in 2001. Toppo was murdered on September 27, 2000.
The CBI took over the murder probe in 2001 after the Assam Police failed to solve the murder.
The Minister was arrested at Mathura Road on Tuesday afternoon when he was allegedly offering the bribe to the CBI officer, agency sources said.
Bora's associate Mukul Pathak, a journalist with an Assamese newspaper, was taken into custody at the Delhi airport after he landed from Guwahati. Ramesh Maheswari, a Delhi-based businessman, who allegedly supplied the money to Bora has also been arrested.
Bora, who had a long innings as the spokesperson of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, is a suspect in the murder case and had been questioned several times by the CBI.
Bora allegedly approached the CBI officer through the middleman for negotiating the outcome of the investigation into the murder case.
The CBI registered a case under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Bora was dropped from the state Cabinet on Tuesday evening. Asked to comment on the arrest, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said: "the law will take its own course".