Akhil Gogoi, an Assam based human rights defender, is once again in the regime’s crosshairs. Gogoi, who is an advisor to the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has been a vocal dissenter against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
On Thursday, officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided Gogoi’s home and seized his laptop and a few other items during the three-hour raid. According to The Telegraph, the confiscated items include copies of his identity cards, registration certificate of Orchid Park (of which he is the founder) in Kaziranga, a bank passbook, a file with the name tag “Credit-deposit ratio KMSS file Misc”, a diary which he had written in jail in 2017, a debit card and a file related to NHPC Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project.
The police also raided the KMSS office and seized several documents. Gogois ordeal began on December 12 when he was arrested by the Assam police. They handed him over to the NIA on December 17. The NIA arrested him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and produced him before an NIA court that granted them Gogoi’s custody for 10 days. He was then taken to Delhi. He was brought back to Guwahati on Wednesday. Gogoi was again produced before a special NIA court and remanded to 14 days judicial custody.
Gogoi is not new to being targeted by the regime and has been incarcerated many times on trumped up charges. However, this fresh crackdown has sparked fears that the regime is using anti-CAA protests to justify action against dissenters. Gogoi’s wife Gitashree Tamuly told The Telegraph, “They asked me why we were protesting when the Japanese Prime Minister was scheduled to come to Assam. They asked me for several documents, including the files of Orchid Park, NHPC and documents related to a private Assamese news channel (about which Akhil had purportedly gathered information). They checked the files and took some documents,” adding that they refused to give her a copy of Gogoi’s diary he wrote in jail.