NIA files additional chargesheet against Akhil Gogoi

BJP-led government conspiring to keep him in jail for a long period, says his party

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed an additional chargesheet against Sibsagar MLA and Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi on Tuesday, the final day of trial for framing charges.

The regional party he heads has accused the BJP-led Assam government of conspiring to keep him in jail for a longer period. He has been in jail since December 2019 on charges of fomenting the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act violence that led to the death of at least six people.

“The filing of an additional chargesheet against our party president is yet another conspiracy as the NIA has not mentioned the name and address of the witness in this new chargesheet,” Raijor Dal’s working president Bhasco de Saikia told journalists.

“The additional chargesheet was filed as the hearing for charges framed against Akhil Gogoi had ended. The final hearing in regard to the case filed at the Chandmari [Guwahati] police station was scheduled for June 30,” Mr. Saikia said.

He said the government had gauged Mr. Gogoi’s popularity during the two-day parole granted by the NIA court to meet the members of his family in Guwahati and eastern Assam’s Jorhat.

“This is a ploy to extend his stay in jail and prevent him from influencing the electorate during the upcoming byelections to three Assembly seats. The government is using the NIA with the elections in mind,” Mr Saikia said.

Mr. Gogoi had criticised Rupjyoti Kurmi, four-time MLA from the Mariani Assembly constituency, for quitting the Congress and joining the BJP. The jailed leader also vowed to defeat Mr. Kurmi if he contests the byelection to the Mariani seat he vacated as a BJP candidate.

The NIA court had on June 22 acquitted Mr. Gogoi in the case registered at the Chabua police station for allegedly leading anti-CAA protesters and pelting stones at police personnel. This and the Chandmari case were filed under several Sections of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.

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