Judicial custody for Assam-based RTI activist

Last Updated 26 December 2019, 14:41 IST

Assam-based RTI and farmers rights activist, Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest on sedition charge and alleged links with the Maoists was remanded to judicial custody by a special NIA court here on Thursday.

Gogoi, who has remained vocal against BJP-government's policies inlcuding CAA and big dams in the Northeast was produced in the court by a NIA team after his house and the office of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, the organisation he leads was searched.

Akhil was arrested from Jorhat in eastern Assam on December 12, a day after violent protest broke out here and rest of Assam. The state government had handed over the case to NIA alleging that Gogoi had links with the Maoists.

The court had granted NIA 10-days remand of Gogoi earlier and the investigation agency on Thursday sought extenstion of the same by another 10 days. Sources said the court rejected NIA's plea.

The activist was booked under Section 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 124 A (sedition), 153 A (unlawful association) and 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 18/39 (punishment for conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Akhil's wife Gitashree Tamuli told reporters here on Thursday morning that the NIA team seized several files related to 2000MW hydro power project of National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) at Gerukamukh along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, documents related to his fight for improving credit-deposit ratio of banks in the Northeast and manuscripts of a book Gogoi was writing about his days in jails earlier.

Akhil was earlier arrested and was even booked under NSA during his protest against big dams.

The NIA team also seized a laptop, which contained documents related to his agitation against alleged corruption in the implementation of NREGA, PDS and other government schemes.

"They asked me if Akhil had met any militant during his jail time. I don't think Akhil has any relation with any unlawful organisation," Tamuli said.

The work on the NHPC project remained snapped since December 2010 due to KMSS's agitation. Akhil had also campaigned against BJP before 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Government officials claimed Akhil's case was handed over to the NIA as he had allegedly appealed everyone to disrupt the administrative machinery in order to oppose the CAA.

(Published 26 December 2019, 14:35 IST)

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