A Special NIA court has released the Assamese activist Akhil Gogoi on bail who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and charged with section 15 for alleged acts of terrorism through speeches made during anti-CAA protests
Who is Akhil Gogoi?
Gogoi is the founder-leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) which is a left wing peasant organisation based in Assam. He is also dubbed as an RTI activist for his frequent use of RTI for various causes.
Conditions for bail to Akhil Gogoi
- Furnish a bail bond of Rs 30,000 along with one surety of the same amount
- Do not tamper with evidence, appear before the trial court during the trial, do not intimidate or influence witnesses, or leave the country without its prior permission.
- Akhil Gogoi has been barred from indulging in any activities that would be detrimental to peace and social harmony, or lead to incitement of violence.
Breach of any of the aforestated conditions would result in cancellation of bail.
Background of Akhil Gogoi’s UAPA case
The case relates to a protest that took place on December 9, 2019, in Chabua, Assam, where Gogoi allegedly led and addressed a crowd protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The protest later took a violent turn and led to vandalism.
Observations by the court in Akhil Gogoi’s UAPA case
The court opined that Akhil Gogoi’s speeches cannot be believed to directly inicted any violence even though the speeched prima facie are provocative and aggressive in nature.
The court also noted that there is no established evidence to prove that Akhil Gogoi in any manner persuaded the crowd which could have ultimately led to the violence that ensued.
The moot question for court’s consideration was whether Gogoi’s acts or omissions prima facie make him liable for acts of terrorism under Section 15 of the UAPA. It was concluded that prima facie, these acts could not be said to be terrorist acts.
“…the omissions and commissions of A-1 (Gogoi) revealed by the materials cannot be prima facie said to be a terrorist act done with the intention of threatening unity, integrity, sovereignty and security of India or a terrorist act done with the intention to strike terror in the people.”
The court also noted that there is no reason to hold Gogoi in detention since the chargesheet re;ating to the incident has been filed and the investigation is complete. The fact that Akhil Gogoi is currently ill and is receiving medical treatment was also taken into consideration by the court.
Another UAPA case against Akhil Gogoi
Gogoi’s bail plea in relation to a separate case registered against him by the Chandmari Police Station was rejected by the Special NIA Court. He had subsequently appealed against it in the Gauhati High Court and the same has been admitted. The instant case’s hearing is scheduled to take place on October 13.