'NIA tortured me, offered bail if I joined RSS, BJP': Akhil Gogoi in letter
The letter released by Gogoi's newly floated political outfit Raijor Dal said that the activist leader was taken to Delhi on 18 December, 2019, without the court's permission
Guwahati: Anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi in a letter from jail on Tuesday alleged physical and mental torture in custody and claimed that he was offered instant bail by NIA interrogators if he joined either the RSS or BJP.
The letter released by Gogoi's newly floated political outfit Raijor Dal said that the peasant leader was taken to Delhi on 18 December, 2019 without the court's permission.
"At the NIA headquarter, I was lodged in lockup no 1 and was given only one dirty blanket. I slept on the floor in 3-4 degree celsius of temperature," he claimed.
During interrogation, the NIA officials offered him instant bail if he joined the RSS, the letter claimed.
"When I was arguing against the insulting offer, they came out with another proposal of joining the BJP. They said I could contest the Assembly against a vacant seat and become a minister," Gogoi claimed.
The RTI activist also alleged that he was offered Rs 20 crore to start an NGO by leaving the peasant body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and work against the conversion of Assamese people into Christianity.
"When I did not accept any of their proposals, they offered me a meeting with the chief minister and an influential minister of Assam. I turned down that too," Gogoi said.
He alleged that when he accepted none of the NIA offers, he was called a "disobedient citizen" as charged in extreme cases.
"I was threatened with dire consequences if I don't accept their proposals. Death threats also came. I was threatened with at least 10 years of imprisonment. With so much physical and mental torture, I became restless on the night of December 20," Gogoi wrote.
He was admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital for treating COVID-19 and remains there for other ailments.
"I was threatened with dire consequences if I don't accept their proposals. Death threats also came. I was threatened with at least 10 years of imprisonment.
"With so much physical and mental torture, I became restless on the night of 20 December," Ggogi wrote.
The NIA had arrested him in December 2019 for his alleged role in violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. He was admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital for treating COVID-19 and remains there for other ailments.
When contacted, BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami told PTI "These are all baseless allegations and nothing but cheap politics. The letter was issued just four days before the polling starts in Assam and it is done only to gain votes.
"However, the people of Assam have understood what Akhil Gogoi is. Assamese people are very mature. Nobody will vote for him and he will lose his deposit," he added.
Sivasagar constituency from where Gogoi is contesting is going for polls in the first phase on 27 March.
Sonowal, who belongs to Assam's indigenous Sonowal-Kachari tribals, and Sarma, an Assamese Brahmin who is the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, are top contenders for the chief minister's post
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The BJP chief's letter came a day after the Congress Working Committee hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his handling of the coronavirus crisis
The counting of votes began Sunday morning at more than 825 centres across the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh