'My son taken from court to court during coronavirus': Akhil Gogoi's mother Priyada on his judicial custody being extended yet again
"I don't know what crime my son has committed. When everyone is worried and asked to stay inside because of coronavirus he is being taken to one court after another by the government," Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi's mother Priyada said after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Guwahati sent him to judicial custody till 13 May.
"If he has committed such a big crime, I request the government to shoot him and finish this," Priyada added, sobbing.
The NIA court made the decision Thursday in case No 13/2019 registered at the Chandmari Police Station over Gogoi's alleged role in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests that turned violent in Chandmari city.
Priyada, speaking from their residence in Assam's Selenghat Lukhurakhan, Mariyani district, yet again appealed for the government to release her son. Priyada has demanded her son's release on several occasions and even went on a hunger strike in December.
"I am old and a heart patient," Priyada added. "I was hoping my son would take me to the hospital for a cataract operation. Nobody in family is able to explain things to my grandson who has become impatient to meet his father."
Gogoi has been in judicial custody since 26 December. He mobilised public protests against the CAA across several districts in Upper Assam before his arrest on 12 December from Jorhat.
Gogoi was taken to Guwahati from Dibrugarh jail on Wednesday and produced at the NIA court on Thursday. Speaking to the media on the way to the NIA court, Gogoi said, "I am in a lot of pain. The government has imposed three new cases so that I cannot be released from prison. I request that all be careful about the coronavirus. I also demand that the government bring back 4 to 5 lakh people of Assam stranded all over due to the lockdown."
Gogoi was produced at the court alongside with his two aides Dhoijyo Konwer and Bitu Sonowal. The NIA court has also decided to take up the case of the violent attack on Chabua Police Station officer-in-charge Tulumoni Dowerah during anti-CAA protests.
The case filed by Chabua Police station in Dibrugarh, also for Gogoi's alleged role in inciting violence, was transferred to the NIA by the state government and based on which another new case (number 01/2020) was filed by the investigation body.
Gogoi's legal team told the media this case relates to Dowerah's tooth being broken during the violent agitation.
But the detailed report of the incident could not be presented due to the lockdown and the court said that case would be heard after 3 May.
Gogoi on 17 March was granted bail by a special NIA court after the agency failed to file a chargesheet against him within the specified period of 90 days in connection with a case of alleged Maoists links.
The investigating agency had on 16 March sought extension of his judicial custody for an additional 90 days for further probe and filing of chargesheet. The court rejected the plea, following which lawyers of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader applied for bail, which was granted.
Gogoi, lodged in Guwahati Central Jail, was then arrested by the Sivasagar police on 19 March for anti-CAA violence with ‘illegal assembly of people in Sivasagar district'. Gogoi was in police custody for four days.
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