NIA summons Assam journalist for questioning in connection to Akhil Gogoi's involvement in December anti-CAA protests

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday summoned journalist Manash Jyoti Baruah for questioning in connection with the violence during the anti-CAA protests in December last year in parts of Assam and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi's alleged role in it.

Press Trust of India May 14, 2020 22:32:40 IST
NIA summons Assam journalist for questioning in connection to Akhil Gogoi's involvement in December anti-CAA protests

Guwahati: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday summoned journalist Manash Jyoti Baruah for questioning in connection with the violence during the anti-CAA protests in December last year in parts of Assam and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi's alleged role in it.

NIA summons Assam journalist for questioning in connection to Akhil Gogois involvement in December antiCAA protests

File image of Akhil Gogoi.

Baruah, a senior journalist with a Guwahati-based news website, received the NIA notice over the phone and was asked to appear before the agency on Friday at its Sonapur office on the outskirts of the city.

"I received a call from an NIA official. He asked me to come tomorrow to answer some questions related to Akhil Gogoi and the anti-CAA movement. When I said I have not received any notice, he said the paperwork might take time and so he requested me over the phone," Baruah told PTI.

The scribe, who has worked with several Assamese news channels in the past, informed that he has been regularly covering Gogoi and activities of his organisation, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), for years.

"I do not know why the NIA has called me. I have spoken to some lawyers, who have advised me to go for tomorrow's questioning. I will reach there on time," Baruah said.

On 9 May, social activist Bhaben Handique was quizzed for hours by the NIA in connection with the case.

The case is related to probing alleged "terrorist activity" by Gogoi, who is the adviser of KMSS.

He was granted bail on 17 March by a special NIA court after the premier investigating agency failed to file a chargesheet against him within the specified period of 90 days.

After getting bail, the KMSS leader was arrested again in other cases lodged in different police stations, including Sivasagar (case no. 1344/2019), Gaurisagar (case no. 154/2019), Teok (case no. 694/2019), Chabua (case no. 0289/2019) and Crime Branch (case no. 001/2020), under stringent sections of law.

Along with Gogoi, three other KMSS leaders — Dhairjya Konwar, Bittu Sonowal and Manash Konwar — were arrested by the NIA and they are in jail at present.

Gogoi was arrested on 12 December from Jorhat as a "preventive measure" in view of the deteriorating law-and-order situation in the state, amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), and his colleagues were taken into custody the next day.

However, the Assam Police on 13 December registered a case at the Teok police station under sections 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), besides sections 18 and 39 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The case was handed over to the NIA the very next day with the issuance of an order by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

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