Activist Akhil Gogoi, whose Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) is one of the key organisations behind protests against the new citizenship law, has been booked by the NIA on charges of sedition and under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly being an overground worker of the banned CPI (Maoist).
In the FIR lodged on Saturday, the agency alleged that Gogoi and several others, “through their visible representation and spoken words… have abetted, incited hatred and caused disaffection towards the government…”
Accusing him of being involved in “terrorist activities”, the FIR alleges that Gogoi and “others have used passage of CAB in Parliament as an opportunity to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, piece of birth, residence, language and done acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony, using visible representations and spoken words, thus endangering the security and sovereignty of the State and which is prejudicial to national Integration”.
The FIR alleges that Gogoi merged KMSS with Revolutionary Communist Centre (RCC) in 2009. RCC later merged with CPI (Maoist), it alleges. Gogoi was taken into preventive custody Thursday after agitations against the new law led to violence. Assam Police booked him on Friday for sedition and under UAPA. On Saturday, NIA took over the case.
In the crosshairs
Akhil Gogoi has been a key troublemaker government who has consistently raised him voice against the the Centre’s citizenship legislation. Even in his speeches as early as 2017, he spoke strongly against the plan to bring the law and how the legislation would impact Assam and its residents.
Sources said the FIR accuses Gogoi of associating himself with CPI(Maoist) to further activities of the proscribed organisation and states that he took charge of CPI(Maoist) in Assam from Amitav Bagchi.
It alleges that Gogoi arranged meetings for the CPI (Maoist) between cadres and overground workers from 2009 till date and visited several parts of India “to further the activities of the proscribed organisation”.
Three others named in the FIR along with Gogoi have been identified as Dhirjya Konwar, Manas Konwar and Bittu Sonowal. The FIR alleges that all of them were part of the “Maoist conspiracy” and that the accused “knowingly abetted, conspired, advocated, incited the acts preparatory to commission of terrorist acts”.
In the past, the Gogoi-led KMSS has protested against land issues and big dam projects in Assam. In the last few years, Gogoi has been booked twice for sedition by Assam Police. He has been arrested several times in the past under both Congress and BJP rule in the state.