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Assam: Does government want Akhil Gogoi behind jail for 2021 elections?

The NIA court on August 7th, 2020 rejected the bail plea of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act leader from Assam and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) chief Akhil Gogoi. Following which, there have been rumours of KMSS approaching high court.

Speaking to Inside Northeast KMSS Joint Secretary said, “we won’t ever accept CAA and for that, the Bharatiya Janata Party has to be removed from Assam as well as the country. The fight will continue. The BJP knows their electoral winning chances will be difficult if Akhil Gogoi comes out of the jail and that’s why they are keeping him inside the jail. The NIA lower court has been pressurised”. On the issue of whether Akhil Gogoi will contest the elections in 2021, Deka said, “it’s not a matter of Akhil Gogoi joining politics but the BJP knows there electoral chances for 2021 Assembly elections will falter if Gogoi walks out of jail free”.

There have been talks of KMSS approaching the high court to appeal. Speaking to Inside Northeast, Shantanu Borthakur, Akhil Gogoi’s lawyer said, “we are going to appeal in the High Court against the NIA order as per the provisions”.

Earlier, the Gauhati High Court, Assam granted bail to Akhil Gogoi in three cases lodged with Chabua police against him on July 16th, 2020. He has been granted bail in case number 293/2019, 296/2019 and 307/2019.

Akhil Gogoi was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) after he was tested positive.

Earlier, KMSS leader Bitu Sonowal and Manash Konwar were granted bail. Manash was lodged in Guwahati Central Jail since his arrest on December 22nd, 2019 (case number 13/19) along with KMSS leaders Akhil Gogoi, Dhairjya Konwar, and Bitu Sonowal. Bitu and Dharjya are also undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the GMCH.

Akhil Gogoi was arrested on 12th December 2019, from Jorhat, sent to NIA custody for 10 days in Delhi, and taken back and lodged in Guwahati Central Jail since 26th Dec. KMSS Secretary Dhaijya Konwar and Bittu Sonowal, President of Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti, a popular democratic student org in Assam, were arrested on 13th Dec and lodged in Guwahati Central Jail.

On 7th Jan, both of them were tagged in the same fake UAPA case with Akhil Gogoi and are currently in NIA custody in Kamrup district. Manas Konwar was arrested on 13th Dec, released later and re-arrested from NIA Court, Guwahati, Assam towards the end of January 2020 being slapped with similar charges under UAPA. Earlier, the NIA failed to file a charge sheet within the mandatory 90 days, which warranted Akhil’s release but he was immediately arrested for other cases.

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