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Activists decry Akhil Gogoi’s serial rearrest in Assam

Akhil Gogoi.  

A group of 28 social activists and professions across India have decried the serial rearrest of peasant leader Akhil Gogoi in Assam and questioned his detention in view of the Supreme Court’s directive to decongest jails for preventing the COVID-19 contagion.

In a joint statement, the activists deplored the “deliberate circumvention of the norms of natural justice” in detaining Mr. Gogoi in case after case to make the bail orders ineffective. They said his continuous detention by the Assam government through repeated arrests in various cases despite being granted bail by the courts could have worrying consequences for the democracy in India.

Mr. Gogoi was arrested in eastern Assam’s Jorhat on December 12, 2019, for alleged links with CPI(Maoist) and role in instigating violence during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam. He was handed over to the National Investigation Agency, which failed to charge-sheet him within the mandatory 90 days.

The NIA’s special court granted him bail but he was rearrested in connection with a year-old case and taken to eastern Assam’s Sivasagar on March 19. A week later, he was granted bail in a case registered in January at a police station in Guwahati.

Before he could be released, he was “shown arrested” on March 28 in a case registered with the Chabua police station in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district. This coincided with the granting of bail in the Sivasagar police station-related case.

‘Liberty violated’

“By repeatedly re-arresting him in old cases, the police violated his personal liberty. Keeping him in detention by digging up old cases is an attempt at circumventing the judicial scrutiny of executive actions,” said Apurba Kumar Baruah, former professor of North Eastern Hill University and one of the signatories of the statement.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 12:39:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/activists-decry-akhil-gogois-serial-rearrest-in-assam/article31253206.ece

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