Peasant Leader Akhil Gogoi Granted Bail

Gogoi was granted bail on a surety of ₹30,000 and other conditions, but will remain in jail until other bail pleas are heard.

Bail

On Thursday, A National Investigation Agency special court on Thursday granted bail to Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi on a surety of ₹30,000. However, Gogoi will remain in jail as he has not yet been given bail on another case.

The Special NIA Court granted bail to the activist in connection with the Chabua Police Station Case. Police alleged that Gogoi had led a crowd of 6000 persons, caused economic blockade, pelted stones and tried to murder a police personnel on duty. He was arrested under the controversial UAPA (“Terrorist Act”).

Based on the charge sheet and case diary, the Court prima facie found that Gogoi took part in a protest at Chabua on 9th December wherein he delivered a “aggressive or provocative” speech. They stated that he didn’t incite the violence, but also didn’t do anything to stop vandalism.

The evidence used against him included seized marxist, socialist and communist books, such as titles related to Mao, Lenin and the Communist Manifesto. He was alleged of being overground workers of the banned CPI (Maoist).

According to Live Law, the court stated:

“Considering the Content of the speeches and the statement of the witnesses about provocative speech, it appears that the tone and tenor of the speech might have been aggressive on the much-debated issue of CAA, rather than the speech directly inciting violence.” 

As the evidence against Gogoi could not sufficiently show intention of threatening the “unity, integrity, sovereignty and security of India”, and since he wasn’t motivated to strike terror, the Court granted Gogoi bail. However, he has to pay a surety of Rs. 30,000 and follow other conditions, including not tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses.

In July, activists criticised the state for not releasing Gogoi despite being tested positive for COVID-19. They pointed out that jails could be a hotbed for the spread of the virus. They also showed that conditions in prisons were inhumane, and deny political prisoners the right to a healthy life. 

Gogoi was granted bail Assam Police’s cases related to burning of a post office, a circle office and a branch of United Bank of India at Chabua of Dibrugarh district during anti-CAA protest in July 16.

Despite being granted bail on the four cases, Gogoi will remain in jail as, on August 7th his bail plea against the Chandmari case was rejected. The hearing for the same will be on October 18th. On the whole, 12 cases were filed against Gogoi by the Assam Police.

Also Read: Why The State is So Afraid of Akhil Gogoi?

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