Guwahati: Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leaders Bitu Sonowal and Dhaijya Konwar, who have been put behind bars for their role in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act agitation, have both been infected with the COVID-19 virus, reports said.
The duo - serving a sentence at the Guwahati Central Jail - was taken out on Wednesday night and kept at a camp in Panbazar. There has been reported weeks after the detection of a first COVID-19 case in the Guwahati Central Jail and its subsequent sealing as a Containment Zone.
This development gains extra significance against the backdrop of the clamour for their ally, Akhil Gogoi's release. Gogoi, who was booked under the UAPA Act and imprisoned in the thick of the movement against the CAA, has faced numerous difficulties during his lengthy jail term. Gogoi's deteriorating health in the prisons (he was diagnosed kidney stone, gastric ulcer recently) has been a cause for concern for his supporters as well as general citizens alike. Alarmingly, the ailing peasant leader has also started exhibiting signs of the COVID-19 virus – that causes flu-like symptoms during the incubation period.
Meanwhile, Tarun Gogoi, 3-time former Chief Minister of Assam, has also demanded the Government to release Gogoi, and his aides -- Sonowal, Konwar and Manas Konwar – from jail. On Wednesday, the veteran Congressman launched a scathing attack at the Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP Government, while assuring that the Grand Old Party will provide legal help to the imprisoned peasant leaders.
The COVID-19 positive status of these activists has come in the midst of the biggest surge in Assam, with several districts now taking the Lockdown course in a bid to arrest the spread of the respiratory disease. Yesterday, 696 new COVID-19 cases were detected, with 423 from Guwahati city alone.
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