Gauhati High Court rejects anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi’s bail plea
The Gauhati High Court on Thursday rejected a bail application of peasants’ rights activist Akhil Gogoi, who has been in jail since December 2019 in connection with a National Investigation Agency (NIA) case for his role in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in the state.
The decision by a division bench of the court has dashed hopes of his supporters across Assam who had been hoping that he would get released soon to take part in the upcoming assembly polls in the state.
“We are waiting for a copy of the order to know the exact reasons for denial of bail. We will soon approach the Supreme Court with an appeal seeking bail for Gogoi,” said Santanu Borthakur, Gogoi’s advocate, after the court’s decision.
The case pertains to one of the 13 cases registered against Gogoi, founder of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), for his role in the violent protests that took place in December 2019 against the citizenship law. Gogoi has secured bail in all the other cases, including another one filed by the NIA, except this.
Initially filed at the Chandmari police station in Guwahati, the case was later transferred to the NIA. He has been charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, sedition, criminal conspiracy, support to terrorist organization, among others.
Gogoi was arrested at Jorhat on December 12, 2019 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. Three of his associates were arrested a day later.
He was later handed over to the NIA and a court here sent him to 10 days custody of the agency on December 17. He was taken to New Delhi the same day for questioning. Gogoi was brought back to Guwahati on December 25 and has been in judicial custody ever since.
The three associates of Gogoi, who were also arrested in December, are already out on bail.
Gogoi’s organization, KMSS, which was at the forefront of the anti-CAA protests, has lodged a political party called Raijor Dal last year with the aim of contesting the state polls.
The first convention of the party began at Moran in Dibrugarh district on Thursday and there were expectations that the court would grant bail to Gogoi.