Akhil Gogoi and other KMSS leaders sent back to custody

The leaders will be at the Guwahati Central Jail till the next hearing on February 25th

Akhil Gogoi

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti chief advisor Akhil Gogoi has once again been remanded to judicial custody by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court till February 25, 2020. At the court, he reiterated that people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) should unite in their fight and intensify the movement so that the Centre is forced to repeal the law.

Other KMSS leaders Dhirjya Konwar, Manas Konwar and Bittu Sonowal, who were also arrested in the matter and accused of having links with Maoist groups, were also produced before the court and sent to 14-day judicial custody. They will be lodged in Guwahati Central Jail till the time of the next hearing.

Akhil Gogoi had been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the NIA on December 17 during the anti-CAA protests. On the way to court he said, “The movement against CAA needs to reach the streets from the playgrounds. Protests should not happen only for the sake of protests but they should compel the government to address the people’s demands. We must unite to uproot the BJP from power.”

“This should not be a movement just for the sake of having a movement. It should be solution oriented. And a solution-oriented movement should be such that it puts pressure on the government,” he added.

The NIA had brought in Gogoi handcuffed for the previous hearing, for which it was questioned and asked to reply to the court explaining this action. The NIA did give an explanation to the court on Monday, but Gogoi’s counsel Santanu Borthakur was not convinced. He said, “But in its reply, the NIA has not given sufficient reasons behind the act. We will argue the matter in the next hearing.”

The Assam Human Rights Commission too had taken suo moto cognizance of media reports that alleged atrocities against Akhil.

Hiren Gohain, a noted academician who had reached the NIA court to meet Gogoi along with veteran journalists Haidar Hussain and Adip Phukan, said that the arrest of Gogoi and other KMSS leaders was a conspiracy to quell the anti-CAA protests.

Last week, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) chief advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya also said that the government was trying to derail the anti-CAA protests. Speaking about CM Sarbananda Sonowal he said, “He has no interest for the future of Assamese nationality – its language and culture.”


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