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Akhil custody extended by a day

Guwahati, March 6: The police custody of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi and two of his associates, Debendra Nath Sarma and Ibrahim Ali, was extended by another day today by the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup (metro) .

They will be produced before the court tomorrow evening. The three other arrested KMSS activists — Gajendra Baishya, Hareswar Kalita and Norul Islam — were sent to 14 days’ judicial custody.

The police today claimed that they had identified the two persons who had ferried Pranab Boro to Dispur in a Tata Nano before he set himself on fire.

Inspector P.K. Das, the investigating officer of the case, today informed the court that Dilip Deka and Abdul Motin Choudhury had ferried Boro from Borbari to Dispur on February 24. Both are absconding.

The police wanted Akhil’s custody extended by five days. In the prayer submitted before the Kamrup (metro) additional chief judicial magistrate, Bablu Sutradhar, the investigating officer said Deka, Choudhury and Kamal Medhi motivated, instigated and helped Boro, apart from Akhil, Debendra and Ibrahim.

All of them are KMSS members. “The KMSS leadership, including Akhil Gogoi, Kamal Medhi and others, had instigated, abetted and motivated Boro to commit self-immolation. The role played by each of the accused in furtherance of the objective of getting Boro immolated in a planned manner has been clearly established and there is evidence in this regard,” the investigating officer said.

“Vigorous searches are being conducted to apprehend the three absconding accused, Kamal Medhi, Dilip Deka and Abdul Motin Choudhury,” he said.

Akhil’s supporters shouted “Akhil Gogoi zindabad” outside the court today. They also shouted slogans against the state government.

The investigating officer also told the court that video footage of press conferences of Akhil and other KMSS leaders prior to the self-immolation clearly indicated that KMSS leaders had hatched the conspiracy and they had even threatened that if their demands were not met, then their cadres would commit self-immolation.

He further stated that to show the government their threats are not hollow, the KMSS instigated, motivated and helped Boro immolate himself.

According to police, Boro was doused with either kerosene or petrol and then brought to the place of occurrence in the Tata Nano by Dilip Deka and Abdul Motin Choudhury.

The police are also examining call records of the mobile phone used by Boro.

A police source said that the SIM card used by Boro was actually issued in the name of another person and police have also recorded his statement. The source maintained that the arrest of Kamal Medhi, Dilip Deka and Abdul Motin Choudhury holds the key to completing the investigation.The Assam Pradesh Trinamul Congress (APTC) today requested the state government to take the initiative to release KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi. It said barring some demands, the KMSS had its full support.

“The self-immolation of Pranab Boro is the fallout of the state government’s failure to prepare a proper land policy. We demand that the state government take the initiative to release Akhil Gogoi,” Kailash Sarma, general secretary of the APTC, said.

Sarma said they did not support issuing land pattas to people living in marshy areas. “Those who are living in the marshy areas should be rehabilitated in some other areas,” he said.