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Page last updated at 05:22 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 06:22 UK

India 'bribery' minister sacked

By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

Ripun Bora
Mr Bora is alleged to have offered a huge bribe

A minister in the government of India's Assam state has been sacked after he was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe federal police.

Ripun Bora, Assam's education minister, was detained at a private guest house in the capital, Delhi, on Tuesday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says that Mr Bora has been held under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Following the arrest, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Mr Bora would be sacked if he did not resign first.

Questioned

Mr Bora, who represents the Gohpur constituency in northern Assam, is a key minister in the state's Congress Party government and his arrest is a big embarrassment for the party.

Assam map

"He was trying to offer one million rupees as a bribe to our officials who are investigating the murder of a political leader from Mr Bora's area," said CBI spokesman G Mohanty.

"So we have put him under arrest."

One CBI official who was part of the team which arrested the minister said, "Mr Bora was arrested and booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act when he was handing over a suitcase containing the money.

"We have secretly filmed the act and recorded the minister for evidence."

Late on Tuesday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who was in Delhi, told journalists that he had dropped Mr Bora from the cabinet .

Mr Bora has been questioned by the CBI in connection with the murder of a powerful tribal leader from his area.

Daniel Topno, a top leader of the All Assam Tea Tribes Association (AATSA), contested the Gohpur seat as an independent candidate in the 1996 Assam assembly elections.

He was killed on 27 September 2000, a year before elections to the state assembly.

Mr Bora contested the Gohpur constituency and won it in 2001 and 2006.

The CBI are still looking for a man they say is the main accused in the Daniel Topno murder case.

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