Assam: Artists detained for drawing Akhil Gogoi's mural

Assam: Artists detained for painting mural of jailed anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi, forced to erase it

The painting portrayed Akhil Gogoi surrounded and dragged by police and the alleged atrocity meted out to him

Painting of anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi in Guwahati. Credit: DH

Four artists and a college student were detained by police in Guwahati on Thursday for painting a mural of jailed anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi and were also forced to erase the wall painting.

The painting portrayed Akhil Gogoi surrounded and dragged by police and the alleged atrocity meted out to him since his arrest during the anti-CAA agitation in December last year. 

Akhil, who leads Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) is in jail since then and is facing the sedition charge for his alleged role in the violent protest against the CAA. Five persons died in police firing and the protest during the agitation. 

"We made the wall painting in order to register our protest against Akhil Gogoi's arrest since December last year and the atrocities. We wanted to make similar wall paintings in different parts of the state in order to create awareness among people about government atrocity to silence a strong voice for democracy," Dhrubajit Sarma, one of the artists told DH on Thursday evening. 

Dhrubajit, Rahul Lahon, Kuldip Sarma and Bulbul Das and a student of the century-old Cotton University, Pranjal Kalita were detained and kept in Basistha police station for more than three hours. The artists represent an arts group called Anga Arts Collective.

Pranjal is a leader of Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti, the students' wing of KMSS. "Police action on the artists shows the intolerant nature of the BJP government led by Sarbananda Sonowal. They are scared of Akhil Gogoi as he has time and again exposed BJP's anti-people policies. So they are trying to silence any democratic voice seeking Akhil's release from jail," he said while being taken to the police station.

A police official said that the action was taken as the painting showed police in "bad light."