Updated: February 12, 2021 4:37:51 am
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of activist Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested under the UAPA for his alleged role in “violent protests” against the 2019 amendments to the Citizenship Act.
“We will not consider grant of bail at this stage,” a bench of Justices N V Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose said, turning down his petition challenging the January 7 order of the Gauhati High Court denying him bail.
Appearing for Gogoi — founder of the Assam-based Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) — Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta said that large-scale agitation had taken place against the citizenship law and these were not linked to terrorism. Though there were some instances of violence, there was nothing to link the petitioner to it, he argued. The bench said it cannot consider granting any relief as of now considering the allegations and that the petitioner “maybe later” can approach the court again.
The NIA, which probed the case, had said in its chargesheet that he “was instrumental in sending around 15 (fifteen) members of KMSS in batches of 5 (five) each for training to camps run by CPI (Maoist), where they were trained, amongst others, in their ideology, to handle arms, explosives, etc., and in tactics of mass mobilisation to carry out seditious activities in the garb of protest activities”.
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After hearing arguments for and against the NIA’s contentions, the HC had said that Gogoi had made “no effort… to explain why” he “would… send about 15 (fifteen) cadre/ members of KMSS in groups of 5 (five) each to remote camps in the State of Odisha to get trained in use of firearms and explosives from purported Maoist groups only to be told not to use such acquired skill”.
Rejecting Gogoi’s bail plea, the HC had said that “based on the materials available on record”, it “is unable to hold that the violent protests throughout the State did not and/or could not have had any terrorising effect on the harmony of the innocent public at large…”
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