New Delhi: The Ramon Magsaysay awarded and National Alliance of People’s Movement leader, Sandeep Pandey, on October 4 demanded the release of farmers’ rights activist Akhil Gogoi in a meeting. The protest meet was organised by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), of whose head is Gogoi.
In his address at the meeting, Pandey said: “BJP’s fount RSS which never took part in the freedom struggle, has no right to call themselves patriots or question someone’s patriotism. An organisation which is openly giving training to people in arms and dividing people over religion have no right to question anyone’s nationalism.”
“The Sarbananda Sonowal government has tried to stifle the voice of someone who has raised issues and concerns of indigenous people. The government is trying to stifle democracy and we demand the immediate release of him from jail” he added.
Gogoi was arrested on September 13 by state police on charges of sedition when he allegedly asked people at a public rally to pick up arms against the government. Gogoi was again arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) by the BJP-led state government on September 25.
“A total of 12 cases have been put into the Nagaon superintendent of police’s report to accuse him under the NSA. While some cases were registered in Guwahati and Jakhalabandha town, some others were picked from Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Golaghat, etc. None of the cases are new but have been included to accuse him of instigating against the state for some time,” Gogoi’s lawyer Pranjal Gogoi told The Wire.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and supporting civil society associations have blamed the state government for the political feud against Gogoi as he has been an extreme critic of state’s strategies, also for opposing BJP government for allowing Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis dwelling in the state disregarding the state’s Accord. The organisations have requested Gogoi’s quick and unrestricted discharge.
The meeting was attended by Litul Borgohain of the All Assam Tai Ahom Students Union, Bijan Bayan of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad, Manoj Gogoi of the All Assam Tribal Students Union, Rubul Das of Anushushit Jati Yuva Chattra Parisad, intellectuals Abdul Mannan, Haider Hussain, Dinesh Baishya, senior advocate of the Gauhati high court Hafiz Rashid Chowdhury, Left leaders of the state Munin Mahanta and Rubul Sarma.
The police had reportedly detained KMSS workers and volunteers under preventive detention from attending the meeting in different parts of the state.