Guwahati artists detained for wall portrait in support of imprisoned Akhil Gogoi

Guwahati artists detained for wall portrait in support of imprisoned Akhil Gogoi

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GUWAHATI: In a shocking development, street artists in Guwahati, Assam, were arrested for bringing attention to the incarceration of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi by painting a massive portrait of the activist on the wing wall of a bridge in Guwahati city's Basistha area.

The portrait in front of 'Nidhi Bhawan'

According to our sources, 4 artists and Chhatra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS) leader Pranjal Kalita were picked up moments earlier near the Nidhi Bhawan and taken to the Basistha Police Station. According to reports, the artists belong to a group called 'Anga Art Collective.' The mural painted by the artist shows Akhil -- raising his fist in a symbol of protest - being surrounded by men in uniform carrying lathis.

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"They had been making a portrait of Akhil in front of the Nidhi Bhawan. There was no problem then. Today, authorities turned up and asked the artists to immediately erase the portrait. However, when they said that they had made the mural to demand his release, they were forcibly picked up and whisked off to the nearby Basistha Police Station," KMSS General Secretary Mukut Deka told Inside Northeast.

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It needs mention here that the bail plea of Gogoi has been taken up at Gauhati High Court. The next hearing has been scheduled by the court on December 12.

Gogoi, the leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), was arrested on December 12, 2019, from Jorhat, during the height of the anti-CAA protests in the state, as a “preventive measure” in view of the deteriorating law and order situation and his three associates were taken into custody the next day.

They were later handed over to the NIA and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged role in the violent protest and possible links with Maoists.

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