Jailed activist and newly elected MLA from Sibsagar in Assam, Akhil Gogoi today walked out of jail after a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court cleared him in the last case pending against him. The case was related to the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act violence in the state in December 2019.
Gogoi is scheduled to visit the home of 17-year-old student Sam Stafford who died in police firing during the protests. Gogoi was first arrested in December 2020 during an anti-CAA rally. The case was later transferred to the NIA which booked him on the charges of sedition and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The NIA alleged that Gogoi was working for the banned CPI (Maoist).
Many cases were filed against Gogoi across the state including Sibsagar, Dibrugarh, Gaurisagar, Teok, Jorhat after the violence. The NIA was investing cases registered against him in Chandmari and Chabua.
Last month, he was cleared in all the cases including the Chabua case. Recently, the NIA had filed a supplementary charge sheet in the Chandmari case. Gogoi had alleged a conspiracy to keep him behind bars.
He was cleared of all the charges in the Chandmari case today. The court did not find the witnesses to be worthy, said Gogoi’s advocate. His three associated Dhaijya Konwar, Bitu Sonowal and Manas Konwar were also discharged by the court today.
On June 25, an NIA court had granted two-day parole to him on humanitarian grounds allowing him to visit his ailing mother and son.
Not only CAA, Gogoi has also been voicing his support for the rights of peasants in Assam. He has been working on land rights issues, people affected by big dam projects, among others.
Though Akhil formed a political party Raijor Dal before the Assam assembly election, he contested as an Independent candidate from Sibsagar and won. Akhil Gogoi has been critical of the ruling BJP, RSS and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.