RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi. File photo.
| Photo Credit:
Ritu Raj Konwar
Gogoi, whose custody was to end on Friday, has been booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code and stringent Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act, the officials said.
Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency on Thursday raided the residence Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi as well as the office of his organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) in Guwahati.An NIA team started its search operation at Mr Gogoi’s residence in the city’s Nizarapar locality at a round 7 am. Another team 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 identification and bank documents were also learnt to have been seized.Terror activitiesThe NIA has charged Mr Gogoi, who had earlier been arrested on charges of sedition, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.The NIA had in its FIR on December 14 accused 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 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 had in 2009 merged KMSS with the Revolutionary Communist Centre, which later merged with CPI (Maoist).Demand for releaseThe police had arrested Mr. Gogoi, who was leading the 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. The NIA brought him back to Guwahati on Wednesday for production in a court on Thursday.Krishak Shramik Unnayan Parishad, a wing of the KMSS, and seven other organisations have called a 12-hour shutdown from 5 am on December 30, demanding Mr Gogoi’s unconditional release. The shutdown, which was earlier scheduled for Friday, is also for the repeal of the CAA.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 citizen’s group called Asom Nagarik Samaj has also demanded Mr Gogoi’s release. The members of this group include scholar Hiren Gohain, former Assam Police chief Harekrishna Deka, writer Anima Guha, novelist Laxminandan Bora, artist Noni Borpujari and singer Pulak Banerjee.