Thirtysix-year-old Congress legislator from Assam, Rumi Nath, who was arrested for her alleged links with one of the most-wanted car-theft kingpin Anil Chauhan, is not new to controversies.
According to Guwahati Police Commissioner Jyotirmoy Chakravarty, the arrest of Nath is linked to two cases — in Dispur and Azara police stations — in which Chauhan has been implicated under several sections of the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, possessing illegal arms, and also under certain sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.
The Assembly Secretariat had issued car passes to Chauhan on the recommendation of Nath on at least three occasions — in May 2013, September 2014 and January 2015. In the first instance, Nath had shown Chauhan as driver of a vehicle (AS-01MA-5917) of which she claimed she was the owner. On September 26, 2014, the Assembly issued a pass against the same vehicle when Nath showed Anil as its owner.
Nath, speaking to the media on Monday, however had complained that she was unnecessarily framed in the Chauhan case. “I don’t know Chauhan. I only know his wife Rita. Moreover, I don’t have any authority to issue car passes. Yes, I had recommended Rita’s name for issue of a car pass, but it is the Assembly Secretariat which issues passes,” she had said.
She had occupied headlines on several occasions ever since she was first elected MLA as a BJP candidate in 2006. A BJP MLA, she soon became close to the Congress and defied party whip to vote for the Congress in the March 2010 Rajya Sabha elections. The next year she was re-elected, this time on a Congress ticket, to be soon in the news for allegedly converting to Islam and marrying Jackie Zakir, a government employee, without even formally divorcing her first husband Rakesh Kumar Singh. That was in May 2012.
So angry were her voters over her activities that a mob of about 200 people stormed into a hotel where she and her new husband had put up in Karimganj, and beat them up, with Nath sustaining serious injuries, in July, 2012. A couple of weeks later, another Congress MLA Kamalakhya Purkayastha filed an FIR saying Nath and her second husband Zakir had illegally entered his MLA Hostel room in Guwahati in his absence and assaulted some of his guests.
The controversial legislator’s relationship with Jackie Zakir however did not last long. It actually came to an end when she filed an FIR against him complaining of physical and mental torture. Based on this complaint, the police arrested Zakir, only to let him off a few weeks later. By then, there were rumours that Nath had re-converted to Hinduism and secretly married again, this time a Guwahati-based businessman. But even as the local media were speculating about who her new husband was, the arrest of Chauhan pushed her into yet another controversy. Even as news of issue of car passes to Chauhan at her recommendation was out, Nath went underground, made a vain attempt to obtain an anticipatory bail, resurfaced on Monday to complain that she was victim of a political controversy, and finally arrested early Tuesday morning under Sections 120(B), 420, 212 of the IPC.