Legal tussle for Assam legislator Akhil Gogoi didn’t seem to have ended even after getting acquitted of all charges in NIA cases against him as he was this Tuesday seen appearing at Goalpara District Court in western Assam in connection to a 2017 case.
“This is a conspiracy by the incumbent BJP government to put me behind the bars again,” Gogoi, the lone independent MLA in Assam Assembly who had been vocal against the BJP government since 2015, told media outside Goalpara District Court on Tuesday.
He was arrested by Goalpara police in December 2017 in connection to an incident of vandalising the nameplate of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay College at Dudhnoi, about 30km from Goalpara district headquarters, on October that year allegedly by Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS), a students’ wing of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti of which, Gogoi is the founding president.
Though KMSS leaders claim Gogoi wasn’t even mentioned in the FIR filed at Dudhnoi Police Station as he wasn’t present during the incident, Police named Gogoi in the chargesheet and have slammed 120B of the Indian Penal Code on charges of criminal conspiracy along with several other sections of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The final hearing of the case will be on September 24.
Gogoi, was last July 1 acquitted of the last NIA case against him that was registered under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his involvement in the anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in December 2019.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, 2019, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act, widely criticised for excluding Muslims, triggered countrywide protests.
He was lodged in jail for over 18 months in connection to two NIA cases, dropped of all charges in the first case by a Special NIA Court last June 22.
The NIA, however, had challenged the July 1 order of the NIA special court at the Gauhati High Court which was admitted by the Court.
At the Court premises, Gogoi also announced fielding Dharjya Konwar, his close confidente since the inception of KMSS for Thowra constituency in the upcoming by-elections.
“If Congress puts out a unified front along with all the allies barring the AIUDF, only then, BJP can be defeated in all the four constituencies. Congress, however, didn’t declare its stand yet. I am hopeful that Dharjya will win from his constituency,” Gogoi told the media.
Gogoi contested Assam Assembly Elections from Guwahati Jail and won the Sibsagar constituency with a landslide majority.