RTI man held for instigating violence
RTI activist and secretary of KMSS Akhil Gogoi was arrested from Guwahati Press Club premises today for stimulating violence on June 22 in the state capital. The district administration imposed Section 144 in the city to thwart any protest against Gogoi's arrest. HT Correspondent reports.india Updated: Jun 25, 2011 01:31 IST
RTI activist and secretary of KMSS ( Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti) Akhil Gogoi was arrested from Guwahati Press Club premises on Friday for stimulating violence on June 22 at state capital. Three people including a nine year old boy were killed in police firing in the violence.
At the time of his arrest, Akhil Gogoi was addressing media about the June 22 violence at the state capital where he alleged that government agents were fomenting riot near the state secretariat.
"No member of KMSS was involved in clash with police, torching vehicles. These were handiworks of government's agents. Government has been trying to derail our movement. I do not fear my arrest. People of Assam will come out against anti democratic works of Assam government," said Gogoi before his arrest.
Gogoi was taken to Panbazar police station from the Press Club. After his arrest, KMSS supporters gathered outside the police station and shouting anti government slogan. The Kamrup district administration imposed Section 144 in Guwahati city to thwart any protest against Akhil Gogoi arrest.
"Akhil Gogoi has been arrested," said Pallav Bhattacharya, IG (Central Western Range) of Assam Police.
Gogoi was produced at Kamrup CJM court and court remanded him to police custody for three days.
On Thursday, chief minister Tarun Gogoi reviewed the law and order situation. Government set up an inquiry committee and hinted for tough action against the instigators of June 22nd violence.
On Thursday 10 cases under various sections (333, 353, 427, 143, 147, 149, 434, 357, 339 and 435) were registered against Akhil Gogoi at Dispur police station alleging his leadership in large scale violence and arson at Dispur on June 22 during protest rally against eviction drive in Guwahati hills. Of the ten cases registered, four were non bailable cases.
The cases were lodged at Dispur police station by ASTC (Assam State Transport Corporation), Kamrup (Metro) district administration, civilians whose property were destroyed by irate protesters. After police-protesters clash, three buses of ASTC, police gypsy, ambulance of a private hospital, and several private vehicles were set ablaze by protesters.
After the arrest of KMSS secretary, Akhil Gogoi's supporters and encroachers who were evicted recently from hills blocked the NH 37 at Garchuk in Guwahati.
Five district units of KMSS, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Dhubri and Dhemaji had called for 12 hours district bandh on Saturday against Akhil Gogoi's arrest.
Who is Akhil Gogoi?
Akhil Gogoi is a Marxist, RTI activist and general secretary of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).
Akhil along some others had founded KMSS in 2005. From its formation, KMSS started movements for farmers' right, for tribal peoples' right over land.
His Dayang Tengani movement for "land settlement" to tribal people in Golaghat district was a big success for the KMSS.
KMSS launches agitations on patently non-exotic issues such as Public Distribution System thefts, construction of big dams in fragile seismic territories, non-implementation of MG National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), Rights to Information (RTI) Act etc.
KMSS agitation against construction of big dam and eviction of tribal people for construction of dams in Assam-Arunachal border enjoyed huge support from common masses in the state.
Akhil Gogoi came to national attention after he was awarded the Shanmugam Manjunath Integrity Award in 2008 for his relentless fight against corruption and attempts to bring transparency in government functionings.
In 2010, he was awarded the national Right to Information (RTI) Award by Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF) for his for his role in exposing Rs 1.25 crore scam in Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojna (SGRY) and Rs 60 lakh scam in the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in Golaghat district of Assam by using the RTI Act. He donated the entire sum of Rs 2 lakhs of the award to his organisation KMSS.
KMSS is now a part of the Medha Patkar led National Alliance of People's Movement. He also organised Anna Hazare's meeting at Guwahati in support of lokpal bill.