Guwahati: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday rejected the bail plea of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested in the midst of the statewide protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act back in December, 2019.
This comes days after Akhil was granted bail by the Gauhati High Court under three cases registered at the Chabua Police station in Dibrugarh. The peasant leader was granted bail under case no 293/19, 296/19, and 307/19. Meanwhile, Akhil's legal counsel has resolved to move to the Gauhati High Court seeking bail for the peasant leader.
"Akhil is yet to get bail in 2 NIA cases. Although the bail plea has been rejected today, we will approach the Gauhati High Court in the next week seeking his bail", Krishna Gogoi, Akhil's lawyer, told The Sentinel Digital.
Three of Gogoi's close aides – Bitu Sonowal, Manas Konwar, and Dhaijya Konwar – have already been granted bail.
Akhil Gogoi was arrested in December 2019 on charges of sedition and instigation violence during anti-CAA agitation in the State. Ever since then, there has been a clamour for his release from prison.
Although the NIA failed to file a charge sheet against the RTI activist, he was booked under several charges and kept in prison nevertheless. His supporters have called these charges "phony" and claimed that his imprisonment is "illegal" and "unlawful". Gogoi, on his part, has alleged mistreatment from the police personnel. There have been several instances when human rights activists have sought intervention from the Centre during Gogoi's 8-month-long imprisonment.
The demands for his release intensified after it came to be known that the popular activist was suffering from health complications within the four walls of the jail. Gogoi was diagnosed with stomach ulcers and kidney stones earlier this year at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
After the coronavirus landed on Assam's shores, concern again shifted to Gogoi's health. At a time when the rate of infection was at its peak in the state, it was reported that Gogoi was exhibiting flu-like symptoms in the Guwahati Central Jail, where he was lodged. Gogoi finally tested positive for the dreaded virus and was shifted to the GMCH for his treatment.