Akhil Gogoi to go on fast in jail from March 1
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi will stage an indefinite hunger strike inside Central Jail Guwahati from March 1 to add muscle to the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
KMSS members Dharjya Konwar, Bittu Sonowal and Manash Konwar will join the strike. All of them are currently lodged in Guwahati Central Jail in connection with a case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Akhil announced the hunger strike on Tuesday, while being brought to the NIA court here. He has been repeatedly calling for intensifying the anti-CAA movement which, according to him, is losing its “steam”. “The people of Assam need to compel the Centre to withdraw CAA from the state. We will sit on an indefinite hunger strike from March 1. Jai aai Axom (Hail mother Assam),” he said.
He also alleged, “The Centre is doing politics with the Clause 6 committee report too. They are trying to fool us.”
On Tuesday, the Clause 6 implementation committee submitted its report to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
KMSS activists who assembled outside the court complex also shouted slogans demanding the release of the four leaders.
The NIA has sought the court’s permission to conduct a voice sample of Akhil. His counsel Santanu Borthakur said, “The court will take up the NIA’s prayer on March 4. The KMSS members will be produced before the court on March 7.”
Akhil was arrested by Assam police in Jorhat on December 12 last year, a day after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament, during the statewide anti-CAA protests. A case was registered against him, accusing him of having nexus with Maoists. On December 17, he was handed over to the NIA, which arrested him under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).