On December 14, RTI activist and peasant leader from Assam Akhil Gogoi was booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act UAPA for ‘waging war against the nation’ and accused of being a ‘Maoist’. Gogoi was at the forefront of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Assam. He was perhaps the first person in the state to be arrested under the amended Act.
Reasons why Akhil Gogoi is in jail since 12 December 2019 for allegedly waging war against India and being a Maoist: JNU student and student activist from Assam Nirban Ray writes:
- Akhil Gogoi uses Right to Information Act for an unapologetic crusade against corruption and as result being awarded “Shanmugam Manjunath Integrity Award” & “National Right to Information Award”.
- He was awarded for the first time in India with “Bhagirath Prayas Samman” for courageous and relentless efforts to save biodiversity of Subansiri river.
Also awarded “Young Indian Leader”.
- Gogoi was an active part of Indian anti-corruption Movement along with Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal etc.
- He was part of Medha Patkar’s “Narmada Bachao Movement”, continuously fighting against construction of Big dams and for environment conservation.
- Gogoi was recognized as number 8th political counter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi out of 10 challenges.
- He founded Orchid biodiversity Park in Kaziranga.
- Gogoi constantly demands land rights for landless farmers and fighting against illegal eviction of people.
- Gogoi fights against privatisation of all public sectors.
- For being the crusader of mass movement against ‘anti-indigenous’ Citizenship Amendment Act since 2016.
- For being a mass democratic peasant leader in Assam.