Days after getting bail by NIA court, Akhil Gogoi arrested in another case
Two days after he was granted bail by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Assam, anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) activist Akhil Gogoi was arrested again on Thursday morning.
Although formalities regarding his bail were completed, the founder of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), a farmers’ rights body, could not avail it as police from Sibsagar district arrested him in a separate case.
“A police team from Sibsagar arrested him inside the central jail in Guwahati and took him away around 5:00 am on Thursday morning,” said Gogoi’s lawyer Shantanu Borthakur.
A court in Sibsagar, located 360 km east of Guwahati, had granted four-day custody to the police in connection with a case lodged against the RTI activist in December last year during the peak of anti-CAA protests, which Gogoi and his organisation had been spearheading.
“There are several cases lodged against Gogoi in many police stations. We still don’t have details of all of them. The one in Sibsagar was lodged suo motu by the police under 153A of IPC, a non-bailable section,” said Borthakur.
The IPC section deals with promoting enmity between different groups, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, residence etc and doing acts prejudicial for maintenance of harmony.
On Tuesday, the NIA court in Guwahati had granted bail to Gogoi after the agency failed to file chargesheet against him within 90 days of arrest and sought more time.
Gogoi was arrested at Jorhat on December 12 last year for his role in the protests against CAA, which seeks to fast forward citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists and Jains from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He was later handed over to NIA and a court in Assam sent him in custody of the agency for 10 days. He was taken to New Delhi the same day for questioning.
Gogoi was brought back to Guwahati on December 25 and was in judicial custody ever since. Several demonstrations seeking his release following reports of his deteriorating health had taken place both in Assam and outside.
The NIA has lodged a case under sections 120B, 124A, 153A, 153B of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 18 and Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPAA).
The charges pertain to criminal conspiracy, sedition, promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc., assertions against national integrity, support to terrorist organization etc.