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NIA Court Sends Akhil Gogoi to Judicial Custody

NIA Court Sends Akhil Gogoi to Judicial Custody

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Guwahati, April 23, 2020:

Akhil Gogoi, one of the prominent activists from Assam who was at the forefront of the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (or CAA) has been sent to judicial custody again after being produced in the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) court in Guwahati earlier today.

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He was produced at the NIA court after being taken to Guwahati from Dibrugarh jail yesterday against case No 13/19 registered at the Chabua Police station during the nationwide protests against the CAA.

Speaking to mediapersons outside the Court, Gogoi raised his voice against the raise in prices of petrol and diesel; further, the peasant leader also urged the Government to release the salaries of its employees "on time."

It may be mentioned here Gogoi was granted bail by a special NIA court on March 17 in a case which branded him as a ‘Maoist’ and for which he was arrested on December 16. The NIA was not able to file a charge sheet within the period of the 90 days of Gogoi’s stay in jail. However, despite getting the bail, Gogoi was stuck at the Guwahati Central Jail. He was then taken by Sivasagar police on March 19 and kept under four-day police custody.

Gogoi’s incarceration in the midst of the coronavirus virus pandemic that is sweeping the world leaving death and destruction in its wale has been branded as a “political ploy” by the CAA activist's supporters.

The Gauhati high court on Tuesday, April 7, issued an interim stay order on the default bail which was granted to peasant leader Akhil Gogoi and founder-secretary of the Assam-based peasant organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) in the National Investigation Agency (NIA)-related case that charged him of being a ‘Maoist’.

However, he still finds himself entangled in a web as he is being taken from one jail to another, although any of the charges are yet to stick. Several have marvelled at the almost comical turn of events, with fingers being raised at the administration for its “vindictiveness”.

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Dr Navanil Barua, a senior neurosurgeon from Assam, opines that this ever-continuing process of filing different cases against the peasant leader reeks of a conspiracy. “Akhil Gogoi, whether he is guilty is not for me to judge, but something smells fishy here. Not a chargesheet has been given. He was arrested in Sibasagar. If it was an old FIR, why did they wait so long to file a case against the man? The police accountability commission should answer this — why have these cases been pending?.”

Meanwhile, during the lockdown that has kept 1.3 billion Indians at home, the clamour for the release of Assam’s foremost peasant leader leader Akhil refuses to die down. On April 10, people across Assam, despite staying indoors amid the lockdown, once again raised their voices to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Gogoi and others who led the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

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