Assam Minister defensive on missing Turung couple case

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Guwahati, June 10 (UNI) As Assam came to terms with the arrest of senior Congress leader Ripun Bora for trying to bribe a CBI sleuth probing a political murder case, another powerful state minister Pradyut Bordoloi today defended his stand regarding the disappearance of a political leader in his constituency.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Bordoloi said, ''I have nothing to do with the disappearance of the Turung couple from Margherita and have requested Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to pursue the CBI to take up the investigation.'' The Chief Minister had assured him of asking the CBI to take up the probe, the state Power and Industries Minister added.

Prasanta and Kamai Turung had gone missing on April 9, 2007.

Prasanta was an NCP candidate in the 2006 Assembly polls, after having contested in all Assembly and Parliamentary elections from Margherita constituency since the 1990s.

Reacting to the NCP's allegations that Mr Bordoloi had the Turungs eliminated due to the latter's political prowess, Mr Bordoloi said, ''Mr Turung had secured 150-2,000 votes in all the elections he had fought in a constituency of over 1.5 lakh voters. I never considered him a political rival, and even if I had, I would take the contest sportingly.'' Hinting the involvement of Naga insurgents in the couple's disappearance, he said, ''Kamai Turung belonged to a Naga community of Arunachal Pradesh. Initial investigations have pointed out that Naga rebels, active in the adjoining areas, could be behind their disappearance.'' The minister further informed that he had personally written to the Tinsukia Superintendent of Police in May to pursue the case.

A special task force was formed by the SP and the team had gone to several places, including Siliguri and Arunachal Pradesh, to probe all leads.

The investigation had resulted in the arrest of two persons from Siliguri who had last seen the Turung couple, the minister said.

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