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Assam: KMSS stages hunger strike on Bihu demanding Akhil’s release

GUWAHATI: Amid the ongoing Bhogali Bihu celebrations across the state of Assam, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) is observing a 48-hour hunger strike in Chachal, Guwahati, from the night of Uruka onwards. Uruka, Bihu’s eve, is typically marked by feasting and merrymaking.

The hunger strike is being led by KMSS leaders Dharjya Konwar, Bitu Sonowal, and Manash Konwar. The three leaders, who were at the forefront of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, have been staging a sit-in protest in Chachal, Sixmile since Uruka night on January 13. Notably, all 3 peasant leaders were arrested during the Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Assam.

At the protest, the KMSS trio is demanding the release of co-leader Akhil Gogoi and the scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

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Talking to Inside Northeast, Dharjya Konwar said, “On the occasion of Bihu, we have congregated at Chachal where we are staging a 48-hour hunger strike against the illegal incarceration of Akhil Gogoi. We hereby demand the Government to release him at the earliest.”

Akhil Gogoi has been in jail since December 12, 2019, allegedly for having links with Maoists.

Recently, on January 7, 2021, The Guwahati High Court had rejected the peasant leader’s bail plea, triggering an outcry from his supporters. Akhil has now been chosen as the President of the KMSS-backed ‘Raijor Dal’, and will most likely lead the campaign from the jail premises. Akhil’s aides have said that he is likely to contest the polls from the Sivasagar Assembly Constituency in Upper Assam.

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