Akhil Gogoi sends anti-CAA message by meeting 'martyr' Sam Stefford's family in Guwahati

Akhil Gogoi sends anti-CAA message by meeting 'martyr' Sam Stefford's family in Guwahati

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GUWAHATI: Family of Sam Stefford, a Guwahati teenager who was killed in firing by police during the peak of the anti-CAA agitation in Assam, today thanked the newly-released Akhil Gogoi after he visited their homestead in the Hatigaon area of the city.

"We are ecstatic that Akhil came here and that Akhil is a free man because we had a hope that we would be able to expect something from Akhil. It feels nice that immediately after getting released he said that he will visit the residence of martyr Sam Stefford and meet his mother," Stefford's sister said after Akhil's visit.

A talented drummer and a much-loved social worker, Sam Stafford was shot dead in police firing at Hatigaon's Namghor street on December 13 last year as he was returning from an anti CAA protest programme held by noted singer Zubeen Garg at Latasil playground.

Sam's death drew much public attention as he was only 17 years old at the time of his death from bullet injuries. Around the same time, Gogoi was nabbed in Jorhat for his role in the protests. Although many have changed their tune on the 'CAA' amid a change in power dynamics in the state, Gogoi continues to be vocal against the BJP and Assam's newly-appointed chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

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NIA court on Thursday cleared Assam activist and Sibsagar MLA Akhil Gogoi in the last case pending against him related to the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) violence in the state in December 2019.

Gogoi was first arrested on December 12, 2020, in Jorhat following an anti-CAA rally. His case was shifted to the NIA two days later and he was booked on charges of sedition and under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

During his incarceration, Gogoi won from the Sibsagar seat in Upper Assam with a margin of 11,875 votes, thereby becoming an MLA.

After Gogoi was cleared in the Chabua case in June, the NIA had introduced a supplementary charge sheet in the Chandmari case.

In June of 2020, Gogoi was admitted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. Following that, he has remained in the hospital because of other health issues.

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