Assam Police Re-Arrests Akhil Gogoi
December 26, 2017
Anti-corruption activist of Assam, Akhil Gogoi was re-arrested on Saturday even after the Gauhati High court had quashed the National Security Act (NSA) detention order against him two days before.
Gogoi who has been vocal against the current BJP-led government was re-arrested by a team of Goalpara police on the basis of an FIR lodged at least two months ago.
On Friday, the 41-year-old leader of peasants’ organization Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) was granted bail by the additional chief judicial magistrate, Dibrugarh in connection with the sedition case lodged against him at the Moran police station.
Gogoi was lodged in Dibrugarh jail since September after he was arrested following a speech at a public rally in Moran town near Dibrugarh against the Centre’s decision to grant citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis. He was accused of instigating the public to take up arms against the government.
Later, he was charged in 12 cases under the NSA most of which are old and registered against him in different police stations across the state.
Quashing the NSA detention order, the Gauhati High Court had observed that Gogoi’s detention under the NSA was in violation of fundamental rights.
Gogoi’s re-arrest on Friday has been condemned across the state.
KMSS leader Bhasco De Saikia said that the FIR used to re-arrest Gogoi did not even mention his name. The FIR was lodged after some activists of Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS), the student wing of the KMSS, defaced nameplates of colleges named after Deendayal Upadhyaya in Dudhnoi town of Goalpara district. Saikia said that the FIR mentioned ‘unknown’ persons and Gogoi was not present in Goalpara either at that time.
Police, however, said that the peasants’ leader has been charged with criminal conspiracy under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
“Akhil's discharge in the NSA case and release on bail in the other case of sedition and now his re-arrest in a case in Dudhnoi about defacing some signboards of a college named after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya clearly shows the evil design of the ruling party. Akhil was not even present in Dudhnoi when the defacing allegedly by KMSS workers took place. For BJP he needs to be detained at any cost if the Panchayat elections are to be won by it,” said Apurba Kumar Baruah, former professor of North East Hills University, Shillong.
Social media too has witnessed a wave of support for Gogoi. Many slammed the role of the BJP led government in this issue.
“Anti-corruption activist Akhil Gogoi, who campaigned against the BJP government, was arrested for sedition. Even after his detention is quashed by the HC, he is to be rearrested! While murderers and scamsters are let off, anti-corruption activists are victimized!” prominent lawyer and founder member of the Swaraj Abhiyan Prashant Bhushan tweeted.
First published by The Citizen
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