Guwahati, January 10: A special NIA court on Friday remanded RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi, arrested under the stringent UAPA following his participation in protests against the amended Citizenship Act last month, to 14 days of judicial custody once again.
Gogoi, the chief adviser of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), had been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody on December 26 by the NIA court.
“The judge has sent him to 14 days of judicial custody again,” Gogoi’s advocate Santanu Borthakur told PTI.
The RTI activist was instrumental in mobilising protests across several districts in upper Assam against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
He was arrested in Jorhat on December 12 when the protests over the CAA was rocking Assam. He was later handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which booked him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
While he was taken inside the court, Gogoi shouted ‘Jai Aai Asom’ (Hail Mother Assam).
“I congratulate all the people of Assam for carrying forward the agitation. It must continue to fulfill the defined objective. All people must have a united fight against the CAA and it has to be repealed,” he told the media.
Noted litterateur, educationist and Sahitya Akademi awardee Hiren Gohain and BJP leader turned anti-CAA activist Mira Borthakur met Gogoi in the courtroom.
Later talking to journalists outside the court, Gohain said, “This is a fabricated case. Police does many things to suppress the voice of protest. They had even filed a sedition case against me.”
Gohain asserted that the RTI activist has been a bright student and used to study various books, including those on world leaders such as Mao Zedong.
“Even I have read Mao. Reading Mao does not make one Maoist. We have to make a united fight for the release of all the persons arrested for the anti-CAA movement,” he added.
Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass recently termed the KMSS led by Gogoi as an “overground Maoist organisation” as books on Maoist ideology were found in its Guwahati office.
Borthakur claimed that Gogoi is going through “immense mental stress and is very unhappy”.
The NIA had approached the Gauhati High Court on Monday seeking the custody of Gogoi again. The case will come up for hearing on February 3.
On December 17, Gogoi was sent to NIA custody for 10 days, after which he was taken to Delhi. However, the court was not informed about it and the judge had pulled up the anti-terror agency for that.
KMSS General Secretary Dhairjya Konwar and its students’ wing Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti president Bittu Sonowal are also in NIA custody after the agency took over their cases from the state police.
Various organisations such as the Congress, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) have been demanding immediate release of Gogoi. (PTI)