Assam RTI Activist Charged For 'Waging War Against Country' Amid Protest Against Citizenship Act
The National Investigation Agency booked Assam-based Right to Information activist, Akhil Gogoi under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. (UAPA) on Saturday, amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state.
Gogoi who was under preventive arrest since Thursday is charged for criminal conspiracy, intention to cause riot against the national integration.
Under UAPA the police may designate any individuals as terrorists, through a notification in the official gazette, if they are found to be committing, preparing for, promoting, or being involved in an act of terror. Gogoi could be the first one to be tried under the amended UAPA.
According to The Print, Gogoi has been booked for “waging a war against the nation”, conspiracy and rioting.
“The NIA has formally taken up the investigation in the case and has booked Gogoi for waging a war against the nation. The investigation in the case has been formally transferred to NIA, who will now look into the case,” the report said.
The National Investigation Agency had booked Gogoi on Saturday, two days after his preventive arrest for protesting against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act. His arrest warrant came two days after he had staged a sit-in protest outside the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office.
Gogoi is the founder Secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS)- a left-wing peasant organisation based in Assam. He had protested in front of Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office against the amended Citizenship Act. The law grants citizenship to six persecuted Non-Muslim minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
The arrest comes in the backdrop of NIA inspector general G.P. Singh being sent to Guwahati to “take charge” of the situation, in the wake of growing protests against the citizenship act.
Assam has been the epicentre of protests against the new law. At least five people have died in the state so far during clashes with the police. Assam Director General of Police BJ Mahanta on Tuesday said more than 190 people have been arrested.