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NIA raids Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi’s house, office in Guwahati

RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi. File photo.

RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

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Gogoi, whose custody was to end on Friday, has been booked under various IPC sections and the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act, say officials.

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday raided the residence of Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi as well as the office of his organisation, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), in Guwahati.

The three-hour raid preceded the production of Mr. Gogoi before the NIA's special court in Guwahati. It rejected the plea for further NIA custody and sent him to 14 days' judicial custody.

The police arrested Mr. Gogoi, who was leading an anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) movement, from eastern Assam's Jorhat on December 12. He was brought to Guwahati where the police registered a case against him the following day.

He was handed over to the NIA, which arrested him on December 16 and flew him to Delhi. It brought him back to Guwahati on Wednesday for production in court.

An NIA team started the search operation at Mr. Gogoi's residence in the Nizarapar locality at 7 a.m. and another one raided the KMSS office in the Gandhibasti area.

The NIA teams reportedly seized files containing documents relating to the NHPC — Mr Gogoi has been vocal against the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border — and other issues. His laptop, identification and bank documents were also seized, his wife Geetashree Tamuly said.

‘Terror activities’

The NIA has charged Mr Gogoi, who has earlier been arrested on charges of sedition, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The NIA, in its FIR on December 14, accused Mr. Gogoi and other KMSS members of being involved in “terror activities” and having used the “passage of CAB [Citizenship Amendment Bill] in Parliament as an opportunity to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language... using visible representations and spoken words, thus endangering the security and sovereignty of the State and which is prejudicial to national Integration”.

The NIA also alleged that Mr Gogoi, in 2009, merged the KMSS with the Revolutionary Communist Centre, which later merged with the CPI (Maoist).

The Krishak Shramik Unnayan Parishad, a wing of the KMSS, and some affiliated organisations have called a 12-hour shutdown from 5 a.m. on December 30, demanding Mr. Gogoi's unconditional release. The shutdown is also for the repeal of the CAA.

Parishad leader Pradip Kalita said the shutdown was postponed from December 27 in view of annual exams across the State's schools.

The peasant leader's mother, Priyada Gogoi, had gone on a hunger strike at her residence in Jorhat district's Selenghat, demanding his release. She broke her fast on December 22 after three days, on request from various organisations.

A citizens group called Asom Nagarik Samaj has also demanded Mr. Gogoi's release. Its members include scholar Hiren Gohain, former Assam police chief Harekrishna Deka, writer Anima Guha, novelist Laxminandan Bora, artist Noni Borpujari and singer Pulak Banerjee.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:29:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nia-raids-akhil-gogois-house-in-guwahati/article30400616.ece

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