Assam: Guwahati Jail turns COVID-19 hotspot, KMSS alleges after two anti-CAA agitators test positive
The KMSS (Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti), Assam leaders Bitu Sonowal and Dhajya Konwar, who have been lodged in jail for their role in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act movement, have been tested positive for the COVID-19. They were admitted to the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) for medical assistance on July 8th, 2020 night. Later, on July 9th, 2020 morning, both of them were shifted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
During a telephonic conversation with INSIDENE, Mukut Deka, Joint Secretary of the organisation, expressed resentment at the government for violating the Right to Health of the leaders as well as other jail inmates.
“They were taken out from the jail last night (July 8th, 2020) after their swab samples were tested positive for COVID-19. But, the authority could not provide them a bed. They should be provided separate beds with security as they are under legal procedures. But, they have not given a bed at the hospital till now,” Deka said.
He further accused the jail authority of being failed to maintain transparency. “The Guwahati Central Jail is not safe anymore. It has turned to COVID-19 hotspot. As per the information, out of 10 samples, three were tested positive yesterday. So, it can be said that 30 percent are infected. Accordingly, if tests of 1200 inmates are done, then we are sure, around 500 will be found positive for the lethal virus.”
However, the swab sample report of Akhil Gogoi, who has been unwell since June 28th, 2020, has not been declared so far, Deka informed.
Meanwhile, in a video released on social media, Kamal Kumar Medhi, former longstanding deputy of Akhil Gogoi accused the government of taking a very casual approach to the deteriorating health of the jailed leaders. “The jail authority and the government did not give any importance to their ill health concern in jail despite the issue was raised repeatedly,” Medhi said.
Akhil Gogoi was arrested on 12th Dec 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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