The Guwahati Police on Thursday detained four artists for painting a graffiti of activist Akhil Gogoi on the wall of a bridge in the city, NorthEast Now reported.
The artists belong to a collective called Anga Arts. They were later made to erase their work.
The graffiti showed Gogoi being taken away by the police. The activist, who is also the leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, is in jail for leading a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December.
The artists who drew the graffiti were taken to the Basistha Police Station. Pranjal Kalita, the leader of the student wing of Gogoi’s organisation, was also detained along with them, according to The Telegraph.
One of the artists told The Sentinel that the graffiti was simply an expression of what they saw. “We had worked on such projects many times,” the artist said. “As an artist whatever we saw we paint. But suddenly police came and stopped us from painting. They said we can not paint such graffiti about Akhil [Gogoi] as he is imprisoned.”
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti General Secretary Mukut Deka said that the police “forcibly picked up” the artists when they said the graffiti was made to demand Gogoi’s release, Inside Northeast reported.
Gogoi has been lodged at the central jail in Guwahati. He had tested positive for the coronavirus in July.
The National Investigation Agency had charged Gogoi under the amended Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. 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.