Agartala, July 27 (IANS): Former Tripura Food and Minority Affairs Minister Sahid Chowdhury, who resigned in April 2008 following a controversy over his alleged links with a Bangladeshi arms dealer, is likely to be included in the Cabinet, party sources said here on Monday.
"The court has not found any proof against Chowdhury about so-called links with a Bangladeshi arms dealer. Hence, there is no bar on inducting him in the Cabinet," Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Bijon Dhar told IANS. However, Dhar, also a member of the CPI-M Central Committee, said: "No decision was yet taken to include Chowdhury in the ministry headed by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar."
Chowdhury, a prominent CPI-M Muslim leader, was elected to the State Assembly in the last Assembly polls in Feb 23, 2008 from the Boxanagar Assembly constituency in West Tripura for the third time and became a Cabinet Minister in March in that year for the first time.
A court in Tripura May 24 this year sentenced the Bangladeshi arms dealer, Mamun Mian, 49, arrested in March 2008 for suspected links with terrorists, to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on him for forging identity-documents. The court found Mamun guilty of forging voter's identity card, ration card, PAN card, driving licence and other documents used for identification.
According to police, a resident of Pallabi on the outskirts of the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, Mamun entered India along with two associates in 2007 and was staying with forged documents as Suman Majumder at a rented house in Agartala. Mamun was arrested for his involvement in anti-India activities and trafficking arms and explosives.
"I had resigned from the council of ministers for the investigation to take place smoothly and to uphold the moral values of politics," Chowdhury said, adding that all allegations against him about links with Mamun were totally baseless and unfounded.