Guwahati: Akhil Gogoi was arrested under UAPA for anti CAA riots.
Acquitted by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court after over 18 months behind the bars, Assam’s activist turned legislator Akhil Gogoi left the hospital on 1 July without listening to the doctor’s advice to reach his constituency in the eastern part of the State. Gogoi, who won the last State legislative assembly polls from the Sibasagar seat, got himself discharged on request from the hospital authority.
Since his arrest in December 2019 under the unlawful activities prevention act, Gogoi had been under judicial custody. The 45-year-old RTI activist turned peasant leader turned anti-CAA (citizenship amendment act) protester formed a new political party (Raijor Dol) ahead of assembly polls in March-April and won the electoral battle without personally campaigning in the constituency as he was locked in jail since.
Lately, he was admitted in Guwahati medical college hospital for various ailments. Soon after hearing the news of his acquittal by the court in the last pending case in morning hours, exited Gogoi left the hospital. As the social media users start questioning his health status, the hospital authority clarified to the State home department that Gogoi left the hospital against the advice of doctors.
“The hospital cannot detain any patient if he/she wants to be discharged on request,” said the person in authority while interacting with local media adding that Gogoi should have stayed for some more days in the hospital. Attending doctors should have evaluated his condition before deciding on his discharge, but Gogoi did not wait, and hence the authority would not take any responsibility for any consequent health issues.
Delighted Gogoi as readied for leaving to Sibasagar commented, “We should celebrate our independent judiciary. The BJP led government wants to rule the country (also Assam) under an undeclared emergency. But the judiciary has shown the most deserved ray of hope. ” He reiterated his stand that the UAPA is a draconian law and it should be scrapped.
Maintaining his strong opposition to CAA (brought by BJP led Union government in New Delhi), Gogoi claimed that it is in no way acceptable to the people of Assam. He assured that the people’s grievances will be carried to the State assembly by him with due honesty. He however did not forget to criticize many Assam-based leaders who later retreated from the anti-CAA movement.
Earlier, various individuals and organizations expressed happiness over his release pointing out that the judgment would re-affirm public faith in the judiciary. Assam’s senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika asserted that the discharge of Gogoi and his associates namely Dharjya Konwar, Manas Konwar, and Bittu Sonowal proves that they did not commit any terrorist act threatening the unity, integrity, and sovereignty of India.
Hazarika, who leads anti-influx body Prabajan Virodhi Manch, also added that there were clear findings in the judgment that Gogoi in his speeches could not be imputed with any incitement to violence and there was no material to link him with vandalism and damage to property that took place during the CAA agitation. The court observed that protests in a democracy can take the form of bandhs and blockages, and if not accompanied by violence would not be a terrorist