The National Investigation Agency on Thursday conducted searches at the home of Assam peasant leader and Right to Information activist Akhil Gogoi, PTI reported.
He was arrested by the agency earlier this month for his alleged role in the recent protests in Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Act, which makes undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan eligible for Indian citizenship, was passed in Parliament on December 11. It triggered immediate protests in Assam, some of which turned violent.
The agency began searches at Gogoi’s home in Nizarapur of Chandmari area in Guwahati around 7 am. It also conducted searches at the Gandhibasti office of the organisation he founded and heads – the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, according to Northeast Now. The NIA team seized files relating to Gogoi’s identity cards and bank documents, the report said.
The activist was booked under Section 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 124 A (sedition), 153 A (unlawful association) and 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 18/39 (punishment for conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The first information report also named three associates from the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti.
He is expected to be produced in the National Investigation Agency Court at Guwahati on Thursday.
The National Investigation Agency had booked Gogoi on December 14, two days after placing him under preventive arrest for protesting against the amendments to the Citizenship Act. Gogoi, an advisor of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, had staged a sit-in protest outside the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office, following which he was arrested.
“Over the period, we had inputs that Akhil Gogoi, his associates and some unidentified persons have been working in close coordination with Maoists trying to spread the Maoist functioning in the state of Assam,” said GP Singh, Assam’s newly-appointed additional director general of police (law and order). “For this purpose they have used various parts of the country and for that purpose we had registered a case in Chandmari.”
Gogoi, speaking to Scroll.in at the National Investigation Agency court in Guwahati on December 17, dismissed the allegations of having Maoist links. “It’s totally false,” he said. “[I’ve] never been involved with Maoists, never will be. This is a ploy to suppress the people’s uprising.”