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Assam’s opposition leader slams RTI activist’s arrest under NSA

Assam’s Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia on Tuesday slammed the state government for arresting RTI activist Akhil Gogoi under the National security Act (NSA) and said it is not a healthy trend for democracy.

“The police has rearrested the RTI activist on Monday for some old cases and charged him under the NSA,” Saikia said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Akhil Gogoi was only protesting against the BJP government’s failure to fulfil the poll promises it had made before the 2016 polls in Assam.”

The Assam Police had on September 13 arrested Gogoi, a farmers’ rights and Right to Information Act activist, for instigating people to take up arms against the government at a public rally in Assam’s Dibrugarh.

On Monday, when Gogoi was supposed to be presented in court, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Dibrugarh received a letter from the Nagaon Deputy Commissioner saying that Gogoi has been charged under the NSA as 12 out of 33 cases registered against him merit the invoking of NSA.

“There have been several protests against the Congress when the party was in power in Assam for last 15 years. However, none of the agitators are arrested under NSA. It is not expected from the BJP government,” said Saikia.

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party government wants to silence whoever speaks against it or opposes it. “This is not a healthy trend for democracy.”

Saikia also condemned the recent incidents of violence during some students’ union elections in the state and claimed the violence is taking place at the behest of certain forces and the government is a silent spectator to the incidents.