Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi was on Sunday arrested from the middle of a press conference for allegedly instigating people during eviction near Kaziranga National Park, which had earlier led to the death of two protesters.
A case was registered at Jakhalabandha police station in connection with instigating protesters during the eviction drive to clear Kaziranga National Park (KNP) of illegal encroachment in September.
Watch what else is making news
“After registering the case, the High Court also rejected his anticipatory bail and Akhil was absconding. As soon as he surfaced today, we arrested him,” Guwahati Police Deputy Commissioner (Central) Ranjan Bhuyan said.
He said Gogoi has been arrested only in connection with the case registered at Jakhalabandha police station in Nagaon and the police have already shifted Gogoi to Nagaon, where he was being interrogated.
On September 19, at least two persons were killed and 19 others, including 15 police personnel, were injured in police firing during the eviction drive. While addressing the press conference, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS)chied alleged the BJP-ruled state government was conspiring against him and challenged the police to arrest him.
“BJP-RSS people are spreading rumours that we opposed the eviction to safeguard Bangladeshi migrants. If there were Bangladeshi immigrants, then why did the government not arrest them and deport?” he said.
Moments after the media interaction started, a big contingent of police personnel arrived at the KMSS headquarters and took Gogoi in custody.
Reacting to the arrest, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “if any action is needed to take against Gogoi as per law, then it is fine. But, he should not be harassed because of political reasons”.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to Assam Government to submit a detailed report on the loss of two lives following police firing and use of tear gas shells to disperse protesters near KNP.