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NIA Court Acquits Assam MLA Akhil Gogoi of All Charges, Walks Out of Jail

MLA Akhil Gogoi with his wife and son

MLA Akhil Gogoi with his wife and son

MLA Akhil Gogoi would spend the night with his family at Guwahati before visiting his constituency Sibsagar for the first time as a people’s representative.

A National Investigation Agency court in Guwahati acquitted on Thursday activist and MLA Akhil Gogoi and three others in a case related to anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state in December 2019.

The NIA had on Tuesday filed an additional charge sheet against Sibsagar MLA Gogoi, who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA) for his alleged role in anti-CAA violence and alleged links with Maoists. He was first arrested on December 12 last year from Jorhat during the protests.

Gogoi’s advocate said the investigating agency has presented a “protected witness” in the Chandmari case for which the NIA has filed an additional charge sheet in the Special NIA Court in Guwahati.

“We have prepared an objection, which we will file in the NIA court soon,” the advocate added.

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Gogoi was cleared of charges in the original Chabua police station case by the NIA court last week and the hearing for the Chandmari case was on in the same court.

A few days ago, the NIA court had granted parole to Gogoi to visit his ailing mother, Priyada Gogoi, 84, in Seleghat of Jorhat district in Assam.

Her involvement in his election campaign had led to his victory and helped him come out of the jail.

He became the first jailed leader to win an election without hitting the campaign trail as he clinched the Sibsagar constituency by a decisive 11,875 votes.

He is expected to visit the house of Sam Stafford, a 17-year-old student who died during the protests against the new citizenship legislation in 2019. He would then reach Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and his party, Raijdor Dal, office.

He would spend the night with his family at Guwahati before visiting his constituency for the first time as a people’s representative.

“A mother’s wish has come true today. The DIG NIA should resign, I was jailed for more than a year and half without any evidence. My first question in assembly would be on the compensation to the martyrs of CAA protests. I shall visit each one’s house.”

“I would keep on pressing for cancellation of CAA in the assembly. Tomorrow, I shall visit Sibsagar,” said Gogoi as he walks out of jail.

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first published:July 01, 2021, 18:17 IST