The Gauhati High Court on Thursday granted bail to Assam activist Akhil Gogoi in three cases filed by the police over alleged instances of violence during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state last year, The Indian Express reported. However, the founder of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, still faces two cases of sedition by the National Investigation Agency.
The three cases for which Gogoi got bail relate to the burning of a circle office, a post office and a United Bank of India branch in Dibrugarh district during the protests in December, his advocate told the newspaper. “Gogoi was granted bail by the Gauhati High Court in three cases and now only two NIA cases are left,” he added. “The special NIA court will decide on the matter.”
The court has set July 20 as the next date of hearing for the two cases, according to Hindustan Times. Earlier this week, the special NIA court granted bail to two of Gogoi’s associates – Bittu Sonowal and Manas Konwar.
The activist had recently tested positive for the coronavirus on July 11 at the central jail in Gauhati – where he is currently lodged – and was admitted to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.
Reports about Gogoi falling ill had initially emerged in local media in the first week of July. He showed symptoms of Covid-19, it was said. His wife, Geetashree Tamuly, wrote in a Facebook post that she had learnt about his illness from news reports but knew no details about his condition. Soon afterwards, it was reported that Bitu Sonowal and Dhajya Konwar, two other KMSS activists who are also in jail, were showing symptoms. They had a fever, cough and body ache.
Gogoi was arrested in December for leading a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act outside the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office. The NIA said that Gogoi has been booked for “waging a war against the nation”, conspiracy and rioting. Three days later, the NIA booked the anti-corruption and Right to Information activist under the amended Unlawful Activities Prevention Act – that empowers the government to designate an individual as a “terrorist” if he or she is found to be committing, preparing for, promoting, or being involved in an act of terrorism.
He was granted bail on March 17 by a special NIA court after the investigating agency failed to file a chargesheet against him within the specified period of 90 days. However, he was arrested again, just two days later.