NIA Court Reopens Anti-CAA Stir Case Against Assam MLA Akhil Gogoi

The Special NIA Court on Thursday reopened a case against Assam MLA Akhil Gogoi and his three associates in connection with anti-CAA protests following a directive of the Gauhati High Court.

Gogoi’s advocate presented before the NIA court the Supreme Court’s order giving protection from arrest till February 24 in connection with the case related to the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act stir and suspected Maoist links.

Considering the apex court ruling, Special NIA Judge Pranjal Das deferred the hearing and listed the case on February 28.

Hundreds of Gogoi’s supporters waited outside the court premises to express solidarity with the Raijor Dal chief.

On February 9, the Gauhati High Court allowed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to frame charges against Gogoi and three others in the case. Its order had come on an appeal of the NIA challenging the order of the Special NIA Court giving clean chit to the four.

The other three accused were Dhaijya Konwar, Bittu Sonowal and Manash Konwar, all of whom had got bail in the NIA case and were released from jail.

Gogoi was the only one whose bail was rejected by the court and he was released after spending 567 days in jail once the Special NIA Judge Pranjal Das had cleared him along with the three others of all charges.

The NIA was investigating two cases involving Gogoi related to anti-CAA violence. In one of those, the Special NIA Court had granted him bail, which was upheld by the Gauhati High Court too in April 2021 after the probe agency challenged it.

The RTI activist-cum-peasant leader continued to be in judicial custody as he was rejected bail in the second case related to anti-CAA violence and which was being investigated by the NIA.

The Special NIA Court on July 1, 2021, released Gogoi and his three associates for their alleged role in the violent anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act stir in the state in December 2019.

Gogoi, who contested as an Independent from Sibsagar in 2021, became the first Assamese to win an election remaining behind the bars without any physical campaigning.

He also became the first in Assam Assembly to take oath as a prisoner MLA, coming from jail on special permission from the court.

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