The ruling Congress in Assam faced a major embarrassment on Tuesday when one of its MLAs was arrested for aiding international car-lifting nexus kingpin Anil Chauhan.
The Congress MLA from Borkhola constituency, Rumi Nath (34), was arrested from her official residence in Dispur for having “very close links” with Chauhan.
Chauhan has several criminal cases, including that of murder, arms trafficking and smuggling of animal parts, pending against him in different parts of the country.
The notorious car-lifter was arrested from the outskirts of Guwahati on April 3.
Rumi, who has courted several controversies earlier, had last week applied for anticipatory bail at the Gauhati High Court in two separate cases.
The court turned down both the pleas on Friday. Her estranged second husband, Jackie Zakir, was also arrested last week in Karimganj district for his links with Chauhan.
Rumi’s connection with the car-lifter came to light after Chauhan confessed to gifting her a stolen BMW car. Rumi had later gifted the car to Zakir on his birthday.
After her arrest, Rumi complained of illness and a medical examination was conducted as she claimed to be suffering from brain tumour.
Later in the day, Rumi was produced before the chief judicial magistrate of Kamrup (Metro) who sent her to one-day police custody.
According to the police, Rumi has been arrested in connection with two cases under Section 120(B) — criminal conspiracy, Section 212 — harbouring offenders, Section 420 — cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property and Section 468 — forgery for the purpose of cheating, of the IPC.
The police said Rumi was trying to create confusion during preliminary interrogation.
Sources added as many as 17 bank accounts that belong to Chauhan have been frozen. His wife Rita is absconding.
Rumi was also reportedly absconding for the last 10 days till she suddenly appeared on Monday and organised a press conference at her official residence where she claimed innocence. “We have arrested her with enough evidence. We have obtained a lot of information during the probe.
“Not only this, she is being interrogated in two other cases of illegal arms trading and animal smuggling. No VIP is above the law and we are doing our investigation in the most unbiased manner,” A N M Haque, joint commissioner of police, Guwahati, told reporters on Tuesday.