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Protests on jailed KMSS leaders

General secretary Dharjya Konwar and student wing president Bitu Sonowal have tested positive for Covid-19
Akhil Gogoi

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 10.07.20, 03:26 AM

Protests were held in Golaghat, Jorhat and Tinsukia districts of Assam seeking proper treatment of the jailed KMSS leaders who have tested positive for Covid-19.

They were arrested under The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, after the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in the state turned violent in December.

The two KMSS leaders, founder-adviser Akhil Gogoi and general secretary Dharjya Konwar, and two student wing leaders, president Bitu Sonowal and general secretary Manash Konwar, have spent over 200 days in jail, prompting the Opposition Congress to announce on Thursday they will extend all possible legal help to secure their release when the case comes up for hearing in Gauhati High Court.

The NIA court here ordered their swab tests on July 7 and Central Jail authorities collected samples of 100 inmates on Wednesday.

Protests broke out soon after news of Dharjya Konwar and Sonowal testing positive spread. Speculation is rife that Gogoi is infected too.

Though swabs of Akhil and Manash Konwar were also collected on July 8, officials said confirmatory tests were being carried out. Senior KMSS leader Mukut Deka asked, “Why has his result not been declared?”

Assam CLP leader Debabrata Saikia said, “The legal department of AICC will provide assistance to Akhil Gogoi and other KMSS leaders during his future bail hearings in Gauhati High Court. Chairman of the AICC legal department and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha and former Union minister Salman Khurshid will represent Gogoi, he said. “I took up the matter of providing assistance to Akhil Gogoi with Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The legal cell sent its confirmation today,” he said.

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