A day after the Gauhati High Court on Thursday quashed the detention order against anti-corruption campaigner Akhil Gogoi, a team of the Goalpara Police arrived in Dibrugarh to re-arrest him. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader has been lodged in Dibrugarh Jail since his arrest on charges of sedition in September.
Gogoi – a vocal critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Assam government – is currently in detention under the National Security Act. He was scheduled to be released on Saturday as per the Gauhati High Court order, which was issued on Friday afternoon. He has been leading an agitation against the way the government has been handling the farming crisis in Assam. He has also been fighting against the dams being built, the land mafia and corruption in public life.
The anti-corruption activist will be arrested again on Saturday morning in “an old case related to the defacement of a college” in Goalpara’s Dudhnoi town, Goalpara Police Chief Amitava Sinha told Scroll.in. He has been charged with criminal conspiracy under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
Sinha said the incident took place a couple of months ago. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti President Bhasco De Saikia said Gogoi was not present in Dudhnoi when the incident took place, and the initial complaint related to the episode neither mentions his name nor the samiti’s.
The incident allegedly took place during a protest by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti’s student wing. It was protesting the government’s decision to name 12 new colleges in Assam after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya.
Sinha alleged that Gogoi “was part of the conspiracy”. When asked about the timing of his re-arrest, the senior police officer said there was no “particular reason” behind it. “Since he was already in jail, we could not investigate the case earlier,” he said.
Gogoi was arrested for sedition in a different matter a couple of days after the Goalpara incident.