Judicial custody for Akhil Gogoi
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here sent peasant leader Akhil Gogoi to judicial custody, while Bir Lachit Sena leader Sringkhol Chaliha was granted bail by Gauhati High Court on Friday.
A source said the NIA sought Akhil’s custody to interrogate him over his alleged links with Maoists. But the remand plea was rejected by the court.
While being taken to the court in the morning, Akhil was greeted by his followers with gamosas and slogans. Akhil himself shouted slogans like “Joi Aai Axom (Long live Mother Assam)”, and “CAA ami namanu (I will not accept CAA)”. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti adviser was arrested by Assam police on December 12.
On December 17, Akhil was handed over to the NIA which arrested him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He was in 10-day NIA custody and after the end of the remand, he was produced in a special NIA court on December 26 that sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody.
An NIA team carried out search operations at Akhil’s house at Nizarapar on December 26 and seized documents and a laptop. Another team raided the KMSS office at Gandhi Basti and seized books and files.
Noted Assamese intellectual Hiren Gohain visited the court on Friday. He said Akhil is being put behind bars over false allegations.
“I know Akhil since the time he was in college and just reading about the Maoists doesn’t make anyone a Maoist,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chaliha was granted bail by the high court in a CID case registered under various charges, including waging war against the state.
Senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika said, “Anticipating Chaliha’s release, the state booked him in another case. On Thursday evening he was brought to the Panbazar police station where he was arrested and produced before the chief judicial magistrate on Friday.”
“The magistrate observed that there was no new evidence in the second case justifying his arrest and also said materials in the old and the new cases were the same, while rejecting the police’s plea,” he added.
Chaliha was arrested by the CID on December 23 for allegedly making provocative statements while protesting against the CAA. He has been booked under Sections 120 (A), 120 (B), 121, 121 (A), 122, 123, 143, 147, 148, 150, 152, 153, 153 (A), 326, 333 and 353 of the IPC.
Chaliha was in judicial custody and lodged at the Barpeta Jail.
While he was being taken to the court, he too reiterated, “The protest against the CAA should not be stopped and the people of Assam should remember these days till 2021. The people sitting on top should be dethroned.”