NIA court discharges Akhil Gogoi in second case related to anti-CAA violence

Raijor Dal president is expected to be freed soon

A special court of the National Investigation Agency on July 1 discharged Sibsagar MLA and Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi in the second of two cases filed against him in connection with the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act violence in Assam.

He is expected to be freed soon.

The MLA, jailed since December 2019 for allegedly fomenting violence during the anti-CAA protests, was discharged in the first case on June 25. He has been in a paying cabin of the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital for several months.

The NIA had taken up the cases against him on the basis of two FIRs lodged at the Chandmari police station in Guwahati and Chabua police station in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district. The cases were filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.

“The NIA court discharged him today [Thursday] in the Chandmari case, a week after discharging him in the Chabua case,” Rahul Sensowa, a member of Mr. Gogoi’s legal team said.

The cases pertain to criminal conspiracy, sedition, promoting enmity between groups on grounds such as religion, race and language, assertions against national integrity and support to a terrorist organisation – Maoists in this case.

“The court’s ruling has exposed the Assam government’s attempts to target our party president. We hope to see him under the open sky soon,” Bhasco de Saikia, Raijor Dal’s working president, said.

Mr. Gogoi was granted bail in connection with the Chabua case by the NIA court in October 2020 but the agency had approached the Gauhati High Court challenging the bail order.

Mr. Sensowa said three others arrested along with Mr. Gogoi – Dharjya Kowar, Manas Konwar and Bitu Sonowal – were also discharged on Thursday. They are already out on bail.

The NIA court had last week granted two days’ parole to Mr. Gogoi to meet members of his family in Guwahati and eastern Assam’s Jorhat. His 84-year-old mother is ailing.

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